I went up and over Turtleback Mountain on Orcas Island today. Nice to finally check this box, and get such great weather. The Turtleback Mountain Preserve is the product of conservation efforts by a number of preservation and land trust groups. It offers sometimes amazing views of all the San Juan Islands and Canada.
I did the point to point hike/run, which took me up and over the mountain. It wasn't too long--maybe six miles with detours, with over a 1000 feet of climb. There are various lookouts along the way, including a Waldron Island Overlook, Ship Peak, and others. Very runnable, with some steady climbing. I didn't make it to the Turtlehead, which reputedly has great views--save that for next time, I guess.
All the good things you'd expect on Orcas- expansive views, gnarled trees, paths of moss. Much of the trail is abandoned dirt roads. I only saw a couple people along the way, midday, on a Saturday. Very nice. Thanks to Deb for helping me manage the point to point. Thanks to Craig for his great description in his book Dayhiking the San Juans and Gulf Islands.
Breakfast at the New Leaf Cafe at the Outlook Inn. A late lunch at the Madrona. Home by evening. A very nice and needed day on Orcas.