Here’s the latest Mountaineers guide from Craig Romano, the Energizer Bunny of Northwest guidebook authors, writing this time about much of his own backyard.
Romano lives in Skagit County, not Bellingham, but this volume of close-to-town trails covers not only paths in and around the self-declared City of Subdued Excitement (with a trove of Chuckanut Mountains hikes, from Oyster Dome to Fragrance Lake) but stretches far to include Skagit County walks, from Padilla Bay to Anacortes’ Washington Park and Heart Lake.
Many of these are accessible as day hikes for Seattle-area residents, and on a sunny day you get plenty of scenic views along the drive, ranging from pointy Mount Pilchuck to snowy Baker, and possibly taking in lovely roads such as Chuckanut Drive.
Romano writes concisely and informatively, with some of the more detailed route descriptions in guide-bookdom — which is a blessing for areas such as the Chuckanut Mountains with its interlocking maze of trails.
Most Read Life Stories
- Sunday Best: Emily Blunt, Iman are among the fashion winners from 2021 Met Gala
- Rant & Rave: Reader gives a lesson on the etiquette of waiting in line at Dick’s
- For a Jewish-style deli with 'big, ridiculous sandwiches' and great Ethiopian and Colombian eats, explore this Seattle neighborhood
- What gravel riding is and why you might want to try this new cycling activity
- 11 things to do in the Seattle area this weekend
A stop in Bellingham, with its excellent farmers market and growing legion of good places to get a fresh beer, is a nice side benefit to taking one of these hikes. Add the Skagit Valley to that playground and this little guidebook takes in some of the very best of Western Washington. (Mountaineers Books, June 2017, $16.95)
— Brian J. Cantwell