The Mt. Finlayson - Lagoon Loop is a tour of the San Juan Island National Historic Park unit located on the southeastern point of San Juan Island. It offers the variety of its ecosystems - dense, lush forest, windswept grasslands, and views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca with its many forested islands.
The Mt. Finlayson - Lagoon Loop can be done in either direction. This description is for a counter-clockwise done. In other words, it begins on Mt. Finlayson Trail
and ends on Jakle's Lagoon Trail
Mt. Finlayson Trail (Mile 0 - 1.8)
Mt. Finlayson Trail
is found at the parking area along Cattle Pt. Road. From the parking area take the trail to the right that heads south into the grass. Although the trail runs through tall grass for its entire length, the woods are nearby to the left/north.
Initially flat, after about a half mile the trail climbs up the grassy southern slopes of Mt. Finlayson, and then levels out as it traverses the grassy hillside for almost a mile. The grassy slopes of Mt. Finlayson drop off to the right all the way to the shore and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Great views as one hikes along. One can see the Strait of Juan de Fuca dotted with forested islands all the way to the horizon.
Along the way, at the 1.4 mile mark Lagoons Trail is passed on the left/north. Stay straight here to continue hiking Mt. Finlayson Trail
. Then almost immediately to the right/south is Mt. Finlayson Viewpoint Loop
, a short detour to the south for closer views of the lighthouse on the point in the distance.
Dirt Road (Mile 1.8 - 2.3)
Leaving Mt. Finlayson Viewpoint Loop
behind, Mt. Finlayson Trail
soon descends to a wide dirt path. Go left/north on this dirt path for about a half mile to reach Jakle's Lagoon Trail
. Turn left/west onto Jakle's Lagoon Trail
Jakle's Lagoon Trail (Mile 2.3 - 3.8)
Jakle's Lagoon Trail
meanders through the pretty woods for its entire length with options to take short side trails on the right/north to get a better view of ponds/lagoons and Griffin Bay. After about a half mile on Jakle's Lagoon Trail
, the trail climbs over a low forested hill. Dropping down the other side, a fork in the trail is reached. Stay right here to continue on Jakle's Lagoon Trail
with its options for exploring the ponds and bayshore. After another quarter mile, Jakle's Lagoon comes into view on the right.
Leaving Jakle's Lagoon behind, another half mile in the forest brings one back to the parking area where this loop hike began.
Grassy hillsides. Forest of tall trees and dense, lush undergrowth.