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South Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (2)

Climb through the beautiful woods to open grassy meadows with awesome views of the San Juan Islands and Canada.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.9

KM

Point to Point

903' 275 m

High

120' 37 m

Low

826' 252 m

Up

97' 29 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Need to Know

This trail starts at the south entrance to Turtleback Mountain Preserve. Take Deer Harbor Road to Wildrose Lane, a small side road. Turn north onto Wildrose Lane. The parking area is found almost immediately on Wildrose Lane. A large trailhead sign marks the trail start.

There are a few unnamed and unsigned trails that are not shown on the park map, and not all trail junctions are completely marked. So be alert to stay on the trail you want to hike.

Description

South Trail enters the woods at the trailhead sign and begins climbing gradually. Soon, at the 0.2 mile mark, is a trail juction. Go right (east) here, in the direction towards Ship Peak, to continue on South Trail. Continuing to climb gradually through the woods, the trees begin to thin, and there are glimpses of the San Juan Islands through the trees. Around the 0.5 mile mark, the woods give way to hillside rocky grass meadows dotted with trees. The hillside drops off to the right (west), showing unobstructed views extending into the far distance—the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island of Canada.

At the 0.7 mile mark, the trail veers left, and there is a trail junction with Morning Ridge Trail. Go left here to continue on South Trail. Continuing to climb, South Trail reaches the West Overlook after another 0.2 miles. This is a grassy knoll with a bench. The hillside drops off to the west with awesome views of water and islands into the far distance.

Almost immediately after West Overlook, there is another trail junction with Morning Ridge Trail. Go left here, following the arrow on the sign to Ship Peak. The trail then goes through a short wooded section as it climbs to the ridge top and flattens out. Ship Peak Spur—well worth taking—is reached at the 1.4 mile mark. Continuing in thin woods after passing Ship Peak Spur, South Trail passes a couple of vaguely marked trail junctions with trails that are not on the park trail map. Stay to the right/straight at these trail junctions to continue on South Trail.

South Trail ends at a trail juction with Lost Oak Trail and Ridge Trail deep in the Turtleback Mountain Preserve woods after 1.8 miles.

Flora & Fauna

Woods—firs and deciduous trees that turn bright yellow in the fall. Higher up there are rocky grass meadows with great views.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#11377

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#563

in Washington

#11,377

Overall
10 Views Last Month
241 Since Nov 6, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

San Juan Islands and the southern tip of Vancouver Island in the far distance, looking south-southwest when approaching the West Overlook on South Trail.
Nov 10, 2018 near Orcas I…, WA
Orcas Island farm lands, Sucia and little Matia Islands, and Canada (center, near to far) and north shoulder of Mt. Constitution rises behind East Sound on the right, looking northeast from Ship Peak.
Nov 10, 2018 near Orcas I…, WA
West Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca (very far distance), Shaw Island, Deer Harbor area of Orcas Island with San Juan Island behind, and Vancouver Island in distance (left to right/south to west 90 degree panorama) from the West Overlook.
Nov 10, 2018 near Orcas I…, WA
Fall color among the always dark green firs along Lost Oak Trail.
Nov 10, 2018 near Orcas I…, WA

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Check-Ins

Nov 30, 2019
Chris Heyne
south trail loop back onto lost oak trail 1.8mi — 2h 15m
Oct 6, 2019
Ed Z
Jun 5, 2019
Lis Wise
Mar 19, 2019
Esteban Contreras
Weather is perfect!
Nov 6, 2018
Joan Pendleton