Turtleback Mountain Preserve: Turtlehead Summit

Enjoy some of the best views of San Juan islands from the summit of Turtleback Mountain, known as Turtlehead. It's an easy to moderate, 5.7-mile hike with 1,295 feet of elevation gain. There are several options for extending your trip and enjoying more of the Turtleback Mountain Preserve.

Getting there

Take the Washington State Ferry to Orcas Island.  Park at the north trailhead off of Crow Valley Road at Turtleback Mountain Preserve.

On the trail

Take the North Trail to the Turtlehead and Raven Trail junction.  Considering stopping at the North Valley and Waldron Overlooks.  Take the Turtlehead Trail out to Turtlehead. 


  • Extend your trip with a side trip out Raven Trail to the summit of Turtleback Mountain.
  • For a longer exploration of Turtleback Mountain Preserve hike from the north trailhead to the south trailhead.
  • There are many old roads and trails that are great for trail running and mountain biking.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Length: 5.7 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,295 ft
  • 1,025 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager TBD
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • USGS Eastsound

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