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Walk This Way: Young Hill

View from a hilltop across a valley and out over the water

Young Hill is a great hike if you’re looking to experience some of San Juan Island’s epic views from a more bird’s-eye perspective than the shoreline spots allow.

WHERE TO START: English Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park, West Valley Rd.

The trail head is just off the park parking lot. From there, it’s a two-mile round trip with just enough elevation to get your heart rate up and the endorphins flowing.

Young Hill Trailhead

Young Hill trail start

You can also cut the hike just a bit shorter by parking along the side of the road just past the park entrance and beginning your ascent from there.

Young Hill trail start #2

In most cases the climb is a manageable series of switchbacks with only a few steeper inclines. Breathe deeply and enjoy the woodland views and the wildflowers blooming in the grass.

Young Hill grassy fields

Now head up…

Young Hill up hill

…and up…

Young Hill up hill

…and just a little further…

Young Hill up hill

to enjoy the reward.

Young Hill views

Young Hill views and sign

Young Hill views

Once you have caught your breath from the hike — and the views! — return the way you came up. (You can extend your hike and go down the back side of the hill through the Department of Natural Resources land. However, cell service is often unavailable so make sure you are prepared to navigate your way down. Maps are available on the San Juan Island Trails website.)

Back down the trail…

Young Hill descent

Young Hill descent

Looking for more panoramic viewpoints? Consider hikes up Mount Finlayson on the island’s southern tip or Mount Grant Preserve, which offers the highest elevation gain.

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