Mount Constitution, Mountain Lake, Twin Lakes, and Cascade Creek
Panoramic views; lake views; waterfalls; old-growth forest
≅ 11.50 miles / 18.50 km (Cascade Creek Trail, Mountain Lake Loop, Twin Falls Trail, and Mount Constitution Trail)
3.00 miles/4.80 km (Cascade Creek Trail)
3.90 miles/6.30 km (Mountain Lake Loop)
1.60 miles/2.60 km (Twin Lakes Trail) (accessible only by one of the other trails)
3.00 miles/4.80 km (Mount Constitution Trail)
Set on Orcas Island in the middle of the Salish Sea, Washington’s first state park is a hidden jewel. Moran State Park boasts over 5,400 acres/2,185 hectares, 38 miles/61 km of hiking trails, five lakes, several waterfalls, and one impressive peak. The park’s network of trails and roads provides multiple routes to its many attractions, offering options for nearly all to enjoy. This profile highlights a few of its prominent features that may be reached by several connected trails as a relatively easy day hike. Be sure to check the park brochure and map at the “Additional Trail Info” link above for detailed trail, road, and parking information.
This profile begins at Cascade Lake in the park’s southwest corner and ends on the summit of Mount Constitution near the park’s northern boundary. The trails meander amid massive columns of the park’s expansive old-growth forest and generally climb little — except for the final ascent to Mount Constitution. The Cascade Creek Trail features four small waterfalls along its short distance before it joins the Mountain Lake Loop at the creek’s source on the lake’s southern end. The loop trail hugs the lakeshore, sometimes just steps from the water’s edge, and provides glimpses of Mount Constitution rising beyond. Consider taking one side of the loop on the way out and the other on the return trip. On the north end of Mountain Lake, the Twin Lakes Trail branches to a pair of quiet lakes nestled amongst ancient woodland at the foot of Mount Constitution. From there, the steeply pitched Mount Constitution Trail switchbacks up to the peak’s summit, where a panoramic vista rewards the perseverant.
While Moran State Park is a popular destination for tourists visiting the San Juan Islands, its size and variety of recreational options create space to enjoy its many features without feeling crowded. Do expect concentrations of others at the summit of Mount Constitution and around campgrounds, boat launches, and picnic shelters, but otherwise enjoy your hike in relative peace. Off-season visits in spring and autumn offer the same beauty with even more tranquility.