7.3 mi rt
gain: 2259 ft
max: 2639 ft
me and my dog
gpx track, use at your own risk:CCC to PNT
During the winter months, I play in the local hills more frequently since the snow in the bigger hills limit trailhead access. I live in Bellingham, WA so my nearest local hills include Stewart, Sumas, Anderson, Lyman, Bowman, Blanchard, Chuckanut, and Lookout to name just a few. Thankfully, I live in a hilly area were I can gambol to my hearts content.
Anderson Mountain (3364 ft) is a multi-use hill. There is logging, yes, but also the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) crosses it and there are many other unsanctioned trail made by horse riders, mountain bikers, motorcycle/orv riders and yes, hikers. For this hike, I came in on the west side and just went four miles up on a combination of a mountain bike trail connecting to the PNT. Using this little known bike trail reduces my road walk considerably. The PNT is a three state trail that starts at the Pacific Ocean and terminates in Montana. Perhaps someday I will walk that trail, this coming summer my intent is to section walk the Washington State portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
I parked at my normal spot at the gate (N48 38.188 W122 18.555) and headed up the road. Until a few weeks ago, I would have walked up the road or bushwhacked straight up a ridge, Miranda and I like to bushwhack :). As I was coming off the hill a few weeks back I ran into a mountain biker, this is a rare event, I am usually alone up there. Turns out this guy lives across the road and shared with me the location of the bike trail I am now using. I first took this trail from the top down to figure out where it goes but now use it for both my ups and downs. To reach the bottom of the trail, take the first spur road and walk through the gravel pit. A hundred feet or so past the pit, hidden by low branches of an evergreen is the trail exit on the east side of the road. This is a fairly nice trail! Wide and clear through older trees so no understory, sweet! It connects up with the road just past an old wooden toilet stump built by long gone loggers. Once on the road, to the left just a hundred feet or so is the entrance to the PNT trail.
There are maps of this trail on the PNT website (http://www.pnt.org/maps/map-anderson.gif) as well as a detailed trail description on SWITMO (http://www.switmo.org/hikes/anderson_alger/anderson_alger.shtml). For this run up the hill, Miranda and I went up this portion of the trail, past the Big Log (see map) to where it dumps you on a road for a short road walk, I would say less than half mile to the next trail section that starts at the BIg Stump. Since this is the PNT, there are quite obvious white markings on the trees so the way is easy to follow. Once we entered the trail at the Big Stump we crossed a nice puncheon bridge and boardwalk newly re-built by SWITMO, the maintainers of the trail in this area. Thank you SWITMO! This section of the trail is nice, it stays mostly in older forest but does pass through short sections with some deciduous trees/shrubs. After a bit, this trail crosses a road then continues on up the hill eventually coming out in a clear cut. The trail continues on up the hill and through the clear cut then back into older forests again. While I would rather hike in wooded areas, I recognize that I live in an area with tree farms and I use wood products so I take the clearcuts in stride. I know others that HATE hiking where they can see logging but hey, HYOH.
My turnaround spot was where this section of the trail came out on the road. At this point, the PNT takes a left and there is a 1.4 mi road walk to the next section of trail. I was out of time and it had been raining all day so we headed back down. On the way down near the clear cut, I had to let some target shooters know I was on a trail below them so that I would survive this hike out. While I am okay with walking through logged areas, I strongly dislike hiking when it sounds like I am in a battle field 😦
Overall, a good run up a hill, it nice spending time with the dog.