Drive to the top of Mount Erie just 1.5 hours north of Seattle near Anacortes.
The drive ascends up a winding road through lush forest to a parking lot at the top of 1,273 foot Mt Erie.
The viewpoints at Mt Erie are just steps away from the parking lot. The best viewpoint is tucked away adjacent to the Radio Tower, with sweeping vistas of Whidbey Island and Deception Pass.
The Mount Erie park is owned by the City of Anacortes, which is an easy 10 minutes drive away.
5 best things about Mount Erie
1. You can drive up to the summit of Mount Erie.
Go to the start of Erie Mountain Drive, a few miles south of Anacortes. This road ascends 1.6 miles until it reaches the small parking lot at the summit of Mount Erie, just steps away from two overlooks and the radio tower. Drive slowly, because you will encounter a number of hikers along the way. Although the road is narrow, it can accommodate two passing cars.
It's also possible to hike up to the summit at Mt Erie, but it's a long, gruelling hike. To avoid getting lost, pick up a hiking trail map at the City Hall in Anacortes.
2. See incredible south-facing views of Whidbey Island and Hope Island, from the summit at Mt Erie.
The views from Mt Erie's summit are breathtaking, but remember to keep a super close eye on kids and dogs, because the summit is on the edge of a cliff.
3. The 120 acre Mount Erie Park was donated by a local businessman in 1934.
The 120 acres around the summit at Mt Erie was donated by local businessman Gus Hensler in 1934. Gus Hensler grew up in Missouri, the son of German immigrants, and took a land claim in this area in 1889.
His will read "Said property to be deeded by my executors to the city of Anacortes for park purposes, it being my wish that same be a haven of safety for birds and/or animals." In 1951, the remaining 40-acres at the summit was donated by the Kiwanis Club.
4. Get a bird's eye view of Lake Campbell and the tiny island in the middle of it.
5. Watch the beautiful sunset over Mount Rainier, 160 miles south of Mount Erie.
Fun things to do at Anacortes, near Mount Erie.
Anacortes also has some lovely city parks worth visiting, like Washington Park and Cap Santa Park. Drive the 2.2 mile loop road around Washington Park in Anacortes, along a coastal headland with spectacular views of the San Juan Islands.
Cap Santa Park is near the marina at Anacortes. This small park faces east across Puget Sound to snow-capped Mt Baker and the Cascades, and has a bird's eye view of the marina. Stop at Anthony's restaurant at Cap Santa Marina for a lovely meal.
Deception Pass State Park is 20-minutes south of Anacortes. This is Washington State's most popular park with jawdropping views from the Deception Pass Bridge, and beautiful beaches like West Beach and North Beach.
Deception Pass bridge crosses onto Whidbey Island, with attractions like the charming townships of Coupeville and Langley, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey, and delicious treats at Greenbank Farm.