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Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit

San Juan Islands

Northern Puget Sound, Washington

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Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit

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  • Camping at the trailhead, but not on the trail.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Crossing small bridges along the switchbacks.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Views of the old-growth forest.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • The cave along the way.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • A deer skull mounted at the cave entrance. - Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Entering the cave.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Trail options.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Lush surrounding along the way.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • A deer in the distance.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Cold Springs Shelter.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Trail signage.- Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Glassy waters along the hike. - Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • Views nearing the summit. - Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • One of many viewpoints near the summit. - Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
  • - Orcas Island: Cold Springs Trail to Mount Constitution Summit
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Easy access from Moran State Park.
Cons: 
Possible crowds at the summit because it is accessible by car.
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Region:
Northern Puget Sound, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,409.00 ft (734.26 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

For a hike that is 4.3 miles from start to summit, this adventure is packed with surprises at almost every turn. The hike immediately leads through massive trees within the old-growth forest. As you gain elevation along switchbacks you will cross over small bridges and streams and likely see deer, slugs, wildflowers, mushrooms, and a broad variety of other flora and fauna. As you continue to climb from sea level to higher elevations you can begin to see hints of the panoramic views over the San Juan Islands in the distance.

About halfway through the hike there is an abandoned mining cave that makes for a short and fun exploration. It's also a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. The natural attractions and views only continue to get better as you proceed beyond the cave; you'll see glassy, reflective lakes and ponds as well as increasingly dramatic perspectives of the sound.

You'll begin to gain full panoramic views over the San Juan Islands as you approach the summit. On clear days you will be able to see over the islands to both the Cascade Range and the Olympic Range, not to mention all the boats, lakes, and small towns between. From the summit of 2,409-foot Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands, you will be greeted with an historic lookout tower and views all the way to the Vancouver skyline. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(86 within a 30 mile radius)

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