Chasing Waterfalls in Bellingham

by Carrie Krueger, Director of Marketing

Arroyo Park, Larabee State Park and several other protected areas are just a few miles south of Bellingham. The area features a vast network of trails, viewpoints and waterfalls. While the trail intersections are often marked, it’s a good idea to print a map before going. (Don’t count on cell service which can be spotty.)

The park is accessible through several parking areas (Discover Pass required at most) leading to everything from sparkling tidepools to lush forests.  On a sunny Sunday we parked at the North Chuckanut trailhead and headed out on the Hemlock Trail in search of waterfalls. The trail switchbacked up the steep hillside before giving us our first falls. They were picture perfect, as if designed to encourage hikers. 

Signs pointed the way to Chuckanut Falls which were also lovely. As a reminder of how close the falls are to human development, the thunder of the falls competes with nearby road noise, so while it’s easy to feel far away, the park is set on the edge of the city of Bellingham. In fact, the city’s interurban trail connects to the park.

From the falls we wandered until we reached the Madrone Crest viewpoint. It’s a perfect spot to roost on rocks, have a snack and take in the view.

It would be easy to spend the day exploring the trails or making your way down to the shoreline. Mountain bikes, families with children and runners all share the trails,  a natural gem and a great example of nature nearby.