Turtleback Mountain

Orcas Island

MAY 4, 2008  A Mountaineers CHS hike.  Our second official hike of the Orcas Island weekend took us to Turtleback Mountain near Eastsound.  The weather was much better for this hike, and although it was partly cloudy, we enjoyed sweeping views of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and Canada.  This trail has very steep sections that are mercifully short and tempered by more moderate stretches.  The woods are not particularly pretty, making the expanding view the star attraction of the Turtleback Mountain trail.  We hiked it from the south trailhead to Ships Peak, then hiked the loop trail counterclockwise back to Ships Peak.  Many wildflowers were in bloom including fawn lily, camas, calypso orchids, Oregon grape, striped coral root, woodland star,  buttercups, and some really pretty purple flowers.  After returning to the trailhead, we drove straight to the ferry terminal where we secured one of the last places on the early afternoon ferry back to Anacortes.