Gems In Our Backyard

Gems In Our Backyard

In the Chuckanut Mountains of Whatcom and Skagit counties, the Cascade Mountain Range kisses the Salish Sea.  Here, like nowhere else in the Pacific Northwest, a dramatic landscape and an expansive seascape meet with many rich offerings. 

In the Chuckanuts, foothills of the Cascades, one finds 55 million-year-old sandstone formations embedded with extinct palm frond fossils; old and second growth cedar, hemlock and fir forests; and a spider web of hiking trails punctuated by small lakes, waterfalls, and sandy beaches.  Rapturous vistas abound.  I have heard it said, “I can see the Divine from here.”

Named by the first-nation peoples of this area, and translated as “long beach far from narrow entrance,” the Chuckanut Range also includes Larrabee State Park, Washington's first state park designated in 1923. 

Living in Whatcom or Skagit county affords easy access to these mountains and shores.  Here one can train for alpine climbs, race by foot or mountain bike, stroll, cruise, camp, and kayak.  Wildlife are close-by—our beloved orca, seal, salmon, dolphin, deer, eagle, elk, raccoon, and fox—even the elusive cougar, which I was once privileged to see.

Chuckanut Drive bookends the mountain range. At the south end of the drive, verdant Skagit Valley and Samish Flats, provide food direct from farm and sea to table, with fabulous places to explore and dine from Bow-Edison to Bellingham. On the north end of the drive, Bellingham’s Fairhaven district, is now the terminus of Alaska Ferry and home of one of this nation’s premier book stores, Village Books.     

The Chuckanuts, where the Cascades kiss the Salish Sea, are natural gems that words can only begin to describe.

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Phone: 360-305-0963
Dated: October 1st 2015
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