Fragrance Lake Trail, Washington
The Olympic and Cascade Mountains circle Washington’s Puget Sound, a waterway blended from Salish Sea and inland bays. Not only can you glimpse rare wildlife (think orca whales, elk, bald eagles) but also you can hike miles upon miles of Puget Sound trails. For a tougher hike with access to a sweet ledge overlooking the Puget Sound, take the 5.5-mile Fragrance Lake Trail in Larrabee State Park (trailhead on the main park road just after the campground). Unlike some other surrounding trails, Fragrance Lake Trail was built for hikers and hikers only, so you may feel like the only man on earth, except your hiking buddy. The trail shoots up about 1,000 feet, switchbacking through massive Pacific Northwest cedar and fir growths. It’s super easy to follow, just hike straight.
About a mile in, you’ll reach a junction where you can take a level offshoot trail 0.2 miles to a rock ledge for western views of Samish Bay, Lummi Island and the San Juan Islands. Backtrack to the Fragrance Lake Trail and continue about 1.5 miles until you reach another junction. Left takes you another tenth mile to Fragrance Lake and right circles back to the trailhead along a gently descending logging road.