The Best Trail Running Trails In Bellingham, Washington
Washington State has some of the best trail running in the country, along with moderate temperatures year round there are a plethora of State, County and National parks to choose from when you are considering where to run.
One of the best trail running spots is Larrabee State park just south of Bellingham WA. Larrabee State park is along Route 11 and the drive alone, along curving cliff side roads with spectacular views is a fun excursion in itself.
There are several places to park once you arrive. There are two main parking areas which do require a parking pass which costs $30 per year or $10 per day. If you just want to pay the daily rate then there are kiosks where you can complete a form and drop the fee into a drop box paying the $10 either by check or cash.
Larrabee State park has numerous trails to choose from, including Fragrance Lake, Lost Lake, the Chuckanut Ridge trail and a 3 mile abandoned logging road, Cleator Road. In addition, running through Larrabee State park is a 6 mile Interurban trail that will take you into Bellingham.
Therefore, you have several distances of runs to choose from depending on which trails you use and how far you wish to run.
The Greater Bellingham Trail Running Club hosts two races here per year and they publish the routes on their website. They offer a 10K, 20K, 12K and 30K race.
There are basically lower mountain routes consisting of the interurban trail, Cleator Road, Two Dollar Trail, Fragrance Trail and Fragrance Lake Road. Then there are upper mountain trails consisting of Lost Lake, Chuckanut Ridge Trail and Chinscraper AKA Black Diamond.
Park a Larrabee State Park and cross the street to the Interurban trail. Turn left and keep running north until you come to Cleator road.
Head up Cleator road for about a half mile and enter the trail to your right which is Two Dollar trail. This leads you to Fragrance Lake. Run around the lake and the take a right onto Fragrance Lake Trail.
At the bottom, Fragrance Lake Trail will dump you out back onto the Interurban trail. Turn left heading South and retrace your route back to the starting area at Larrabee Park.
The first part of the 20K route is the same as the 10K route but instead of turning right at the entrance to Fragrance Lake trail you will head left and further up the mountain.
You will come out to an area where you can head left and up Fragrance Lake Road or turn right. Go right which will lead you to Lost Lake trail on your left. There is a small trail to the left right at the beginning of the Lost Lake trail that appears to head straight up into the woods. This is diabolically known as “Chinscraper” a very steep single track trail that heads seemingly straight up for a little under a mile.
Walk this portion as running is ludicrous and likely not any faster than walking would be anyway given the slope of this trail. At the end of Chinscraper you will see a path to your left, take it and it will dump you out into a parking area at the end of Cleator Road.