5 Best Hikes in Bellingham, Washington
Bellingham, Washington is such a unique area. Parts of it feel as if the city, itself, is sitting in a forest of trees. While it feels like a bustling community downtown, a short drive in almost any direction will bring you to at least a few hiking trailheads. As soon as we moved here, I started asking around about the best hikes in and near Bellingham. The hikes on this list are the ones that people were excited to talk about, so I knew they had to be the ones I started with.
THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR HIKING IN BELLINGHAM
There are parts of Bellingham that can be hiked year-round because the weather is fairly temperate here. In the winter, it doesn’t snow a lot, and when it does, it doesn’t stick around unless you’re at a higher elevation. However, it’s still very wet in the winter. It rains nearly every day for a few months each year. Because of this, I always suggest visiting and hiking Bellingham in the summer.
I’m usually hesitant to travel in the summer because I don’t like the heat, but it doesn’t get that hot in summer here. Since we are so close to the water, the temperature is usually in the 70s and 80s which is perfect hiking weather!
THE ONE THING I ALWAYS PACK FOR HIKING
When we moved to Bellingham from Montana, the first thing I noticed was the change in humidity. Montana is very dry and Washington is incredibly wet! With extra moisture, usually comes mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects that I don’t want to deal with on my hike.
I always bring a bottle of Ranger Ready tick and insect repellent with me on our hikes. It’s the only bug spray I’ve been able to find that doesn’t leave me sticky and feeling like I immediately need a shower. Ranger Ready has kindly sponsored this blog post, so I’ll leave a couple of links throughout for you to check out their products! They are seriously the best and you won’t find me hiking, camping, or just being outside without them.
If you decide to order, use the code “Sarah10” at checkout for 10% off.
THE BEST HIKES IN BELLINGHAM:
1. OYSTER DOME
Oyster Dome was one of the first hikes in Bellingham I ever knew about. As soon as I moved here, I was getting recommendations to try this one and I can see why! The view at the top is incredible. Not to mention the drive through the Chuckanut Mountains to get to the trailhead is just as stunning.
Hike Length: 7.3mi out and back
Elevation Gain: 1,800ft
2. WHATCOM CREEK TRAIL LOOP
This hike is within Whatcom Falls, a public park in Bellingham. This is a bit easier to get to if you don’t want to stray too far from the city. The famous landmarks in the park are the stone bridge above Whatcom Creek and Whatcom Falls Waterfall. The bridge is beautiful and covered in moss and other greenery and almost looks to be part of nature, itself!
Hike Length: 4mi loop
Elevation Gain: 300ft
3. CHAIN LAKES LOOP (MT. BAKER)
Chain Lakes Loop is, in my opinion, one of the most scenic hikes near Bellingham. You’ll start at the Mt. Baker Ski Area and get views of mountains, pine trees, wildflowers, beautiful lakes, and maybe even snow if you try it in the cooler months. This route is often used for backpacking/camping as well.
Hike Length: 7.1mi loop
Elevation Gain: 1,900ft
4. ARTIST POINT (MT. BAKER)
If you’re visiting Bellingham in the summer, you can drive right up to Artist Point. This, alone, will give you fantastic views. You can embark on a short hike up to Huntoon Point for even more scenery. This hike is a short, easy loop.
Hike Length: 1.5mi loop
Elevation Gain: 265ft
However, if you’re visiting in winter, the road to Artist Point will be closed due to snow. That doesn’t mean we can’t get to it, we’ll just need to be creative! The road to Mt. Baker Ski Area will still be open. From here, you can snow shoe to Artist Point and see a view that most people never get to see with the road closure.
Hike Length: 3.9mi out and back
Elevation Gain: 1,000ft
5. RAPTOR RIDGE
Raptor Ridge is back in the Chuckanut Mountains in Larrabee State Park. This hike has a ton of foliage surrounding the path in summer and ends with a great view and a perfect mid-hike lunch spot.
Hike Length: 8.4mi loop
Elevation Gain: 1,700ft
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HIKES IN BELLINGHAM?
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