Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

A newly created trail system southeast of Bellingham with 8 miles of hiking and biking trails and 8 miles of gated forest roads that can be used for a variety out-and-back and loop hikes.

getting there

Take Exit 253 off of I-5 and continue east on Lakeway Dr for 2.7 miles, continue 0.5 mile as Lakeway Dr becomes Terrance Ave and then Cable St. Turn right onto Austin St. In 0.4 mile turn left onto Louise Rd. The trailhead is in 2.5 miles and is on the right and across from Sudden Valley Gate No. 9.

Whatcom Transportation Authority provides bus service to the trailhead.

on the trail

The Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve spans 4,430 acres on the west side of Lake Whatcom. It is comprised of the former Olsen Property and land reconveyed from the Department of Natural Resources to Whatcom County in the spring of 2014.

All new trails are open for use with the exception Cougar Ridge Trail. With the completion of the Rufus Creek Trail, there are now more than 8 miles of hiking and biking trails and 8 miles of gated forest roads available for exploration. There many variations of out-and-back and loop hikes that can be done, even a "Figure 8" or two.

From the Lookout Mountain Trailhead:

  • 0.8 miles to the Waterfall Trail and Baneberry Trail
  • 1.2 miles to the Leila June Trail
  • 2.0 miles to the Backside/Bottoms Up Trail where there is access to the Galbraith Mountain Trail system
  • 3.2 miles to the upper junction of the Baneberry Trail
  • 3.5 miles to the Lake Whatcom Overlook
  • 4.3 miles to the Cougar Ridge Trail (bikes only)


  • see the Land Manger (link below) for a trail map of the preserve.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Length: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft
  • 950 ft
Trailhead: 2537 Lake Louise Road Bellingham, WA 98229
  • see Land Manager
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