Washington’s largest state park has some great trails. This small pair of trails is perfect to break in a young family, or get out and hike a little, not a lot while also reaching Puget Sound.

On the southwest corner of Bellingham, Larrabee State Park has a maze of trails, but most of them are up off the beach. There are two short beach-side trails, however that lend themselves to gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands and north end of Puget Sound. Enter at the main park entrance (don’t forget your Discover Pass) and park at the main parking lot. Head down the hill past the band shell and playground and restrooms. Trails begin at the far side and signs lead you down the half-mile walk each way to different sections of the path. On the right, cross through a railroad tunnel and down a short path to open beach. There are amazing sandstone slabs here, carved by the tides. Spend some time wandering the tide pools with little ones, or walk the short length of beach enjoying the views across the open water.

Larrabee State Park

Taking the left path leads you above the water out onto a couple of small points. The second of which has a gorgeous view of the Sound, from Anacortes at the south end, and up into the islands in the north. There are a couple good places for scramble practice, especially for youngsters. Crawling around the rocks above the water will test even the most relaxed parents though. Take care. It’s a long way down and there isn’t a lot of flat ground on those points. You can work across the low sandstone rocks, near the water and follow the path as far as the railroad tracks. It’s still less than a half mile. Stay clear of the tracks, as they are quite active  (and it’s illegal to get near them).

Most novice hikers will have no problem doing both of these short trails. Be sure to watch the tides and pay heed to the State Park rules.

Larrabee State Park

Season: Year Round

Length:  Less than one mile total, both trails

Difficulty: Very Easy

Variety: 2 Out and Back trails

Elevation Gain: 100 ft.

Highest Point: 100 ft.

Maps: USGS: Bellingham South

Open To: Dogs, Hikers

Passes/Permits: Discover Pass

Facilities at Trailhead: Restrooms, playground, barbecue pits, shelter, water, park ranger

Larrabee State Park

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