“A great, moderate pace trail; ten miles roundtrip with amazing views at the top.
— Anne Pelton
Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
A nicely-paced trail, the hike starts off easy on the Lower Blanchard Hill Trail
. There are some steeper sections on Max's Shortcut Trail
, but you only reach these after having had a good time to warm up. All trails are very well signed, and there are even several maps along the way. Trails are well-maintained and hikers will find plenty of options for exploring. Enjoy the amazing views from the top of North Butte Trail
Open year round, open to horses/biking/hiking. North Butte Trail
is open only to those on foot.
Need to Know
This is a great long hike with manageable elevation gain and very well-maintained trail the entire way to the North Butte Trail
. Great trail signs at every intersection and several maps along the way make it easy to stay oriented.
This is a great hike. It's near town but a perfect escape. Starting from the Lower Blanchard Hill Trail
, the parking lot adds about one mile each way. The trailhead is actually approximately 300 feet past the parking lot (you'll have to hike up the road a bit). There is a map and restroom at this lot.
Make your way up the easy Lower Blanchard Hill Trail
to reach the Upper Blanchard Hill Parking Lot. Another map is available, turn left and go down the road a little further for the trail on the right.
Work you way up the Lily Lizard Trail
. From here, you can see / hear the road to the Samish Overlook on your left, but it's rare that cars are on it. Make your way up and turn left onto the Lily Max Connector
. Every intersection is well-labelled with signs and occasional maps.
The trail gets a bit steeper, but still is easy/moderate at this point. Continue to the Max's Shortcut Trail
on the right. This continues up then levels off and even gives you a rest with some downhill areas. There are occasional bugs in this area, but the going is not too bad.
You'll arrive at Lily Lake Trail
and another map. Turn left and then a quick right toward Lily Lake and Lizard Lake. You'll work your way along the left (west) side of Lily Lake. Continue past the "hiker camping area". At the end of the lake, continue a short distance and you'll see a sign on your right that shows Lizard Lake ahead and Lily Lake behind you. Look uphill slightly for the North Butte Trail
North Butte Trail
is for visitors on foot only. It gets a bit steep and traverses over rocks in places, but it is a short trail and the views are worth it. Continue uphill for 0.2 miles and you'll find a few large rocks and amazing views of the forest and Puget Sound.
Once you've admired the views, simply retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Squirrels and good amount of flowers at times. Large birds can often be seen soaring at the viewpoint.