Mount Constitution Loop Trail

HARD 84 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Mount Constitution Loop Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Olga, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
1,833 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips




3 days ago

beautiful hike! pretty steep the last mile and a half but the view is unbelievable! sure you can drive to the look out but if you enjoy hiking I highly recommend it!

20 days ago

Beautiful hike. Old growth forest with moss covered logs, ferns and paths softened by pine needles. The switchbacks make the climb to the top interesting and manageable. My husband and I are in our early 60s, once-a-week hikers, and did fine. I recommend following the trail clockwise to avoid hard climbs at the end.

1 month ago

Hard AF but worth it

2 months ago

This was a nice island hike. A few good views and a nice walk along Mountain Lake at the end. Roads go to the top of the mountain that you work so hard to get to, with the associated crowds.

2 months ago

Great hike with a bit challenging ascent. Beautiful trees and warm lake!

2 months ago

We started at Mountain Lake going towards Little Summit. The hike up to Little Summit is a series of steep switchbacks. Definitely detour to Little Summit for some beautiful views. The hike from Little Summit to Mt. Constitution was less steep, and there were some nice views along Mountain Lake. The view at the top of Mt. Constitution is stunning, and there’s a neat tower with historical information. The hike back to the Mountain Lake parking was easy, and we stopped by Twin Lakes for a relaxing, quiet break. The last bit of the hike was along the shore of Mountain Lake with beautiful views of the mountains all around. Overall, the trail was well-maintained and well-marked. There were a few downed trees we had to climb over on the way to Little Summit, but nothing huge.

3 months ago

We parked at Little Summit and hiked to the top of Mt. Constitution and back - about 4.5 miles and a 400 ft. elevation gain. Easy to moderate hike with the most amazing views of Mt. Baker, the San Juan Islands, and Mountain Lake. Little Summit is the perfect spot to end the hike with a picnic lunch.

3 months ago

Great hike! Definitely recommend hiking clockwise (start at Mountain Lake on Little Summit trail). It climbs right away and you’ll work hard BUT you hit Little Summit in 1.2 miles and it makes it all SO worth it. Be sure to go the extra .3 miles and back to see the Little Summit view. And the hardest climbing is then done and you can enjoy the next 2.4 miles with some pretty easy climbing and lots of incredible ridge views. Then on the way back you’ll have a steep descent for about 1.5 miles and then visits to Summit Lake and Twin Lakes. Last mile is a super easy hike along Mountain Lake (part of Mtn Lake loop). Our favorite hike on Orcas!

8 months ago

Challenging trail but worth it! Easier to do counterclockwise for the beginning hiker.

11 months ago

Great hike! Stunning views of Mount Baker and the many islands of the San Juans. We decided to go clockwise on the trail toward Little Summit to not have to hike the steep incline portion. Unfortunately, we didn’t have hiking poles, but we found a lot of great sticks along the trail to help with the steep descent. Very windy at the top so I recommend a wind breaker and layers to stay warm. Parts of the hike allow mountain bikers so be prepared for them. We saw three biking downhill today.

I clocked 1,713 elevation gain and 7.2 miles roundtrip. Have fun and enjoy the spectacular views!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

I am going to be honest here. Don't hike the trail. Drive your car all the way to the top of Mt. Constitution, bring a lunch, sit there, enjoy and take in the spectacular view for an hour or two. That's what I did (hiked so much during the week, muscles were too sore). Seriously one of the most spectacular views you will see. You can walk up to the tower and learn about how it was built. Then sit some more and take in the mountain view.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

This trail is really something to behold when you consider the intermittent stunning views of the San Juans and Mt. Baker along the way. I suggest going clockwise for sure to optimize the views and minimize the gruel of the climb as is done when going counter clockwise. This also makes the end third a beautiful easy walk through the forest floor and along the enchanting Mountain Lake. A rewarding dip in the clear waters could prove irresistible!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Good hike with great views of the Rosario Strait, Mt. Baker, and various islands in the San Juan Archipelago. You can add some distance by beginning at Cascade Lake. You can also follow a trail on the east side of Mountain Lake. If you begin by following Mountain Lake, you have a steeper climb. The trail is well defined and easy to follow and I did not find it difficult. All steep climbs are facilitated by switchbacks. It's a great way to spend several hours and getting to know the Salish Sea and the Archipelago.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

An easy (I'm in mountaineer shape) loop in the Moran state park plus the Little Summit - nothing like a two-for-one deal! The tower at the top is a nice endpoint where you can see Mount Baker, the surrounding San Juan Islands, and the Olympics (at least if the haze from the fires were gone).

Be aware that there are stinging nettles on the trail - I hiked in shorts and brushed into it fairly early in the hike. My shins still feel tingly,

Once done, Orcas provides a general store and a few shops with some decent after hike food - great for when you are waiting for the ferry!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Spent approximately five hours here with a friend. Love the views!!! Lake, waterfall, various terrain, view of Mt. baker when you're at the top, castle and more. You can do all or some of coarse according to your ability and preference. Either way, I recommend and vote it as worth your time:)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A very enjoyable hike. Walking through the forest was beautiful, and I loved watching the vegetation change with the altitude.
We went anti-clockwise around the loop: started out walking along Mt Lake to Twin Lakes, then up to the summit. From carpark to summit took us about 1 hour 30 minutes. I’m not a hiker, so I was worried about the steep hill, but it was manageable, as the steep section is only about 1.5 miles.
The summit was quite crowded for memorial day weekend. The stone tower is closed for restoration, but you can still enjoy the amazing view. I found the people standing around smoking to be particularly offensive.
From there, we walked about 45 minutes to Little Summit. I think the view from here was almost as good, and we were the only people there!
From there, it took us another 40 minutes or so to walk back down to the car park.

Monday, April 17, 2017

very pretty hike with trek thru green forest, beautiful lakes and a great view, long history at the top. It's a bit frustrating seeing all the people driving to the top but the trail itself isn't very crowded even during 4th of July weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Easy trail to go thru the deep forest, definitely much more fun than driving up

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A very pretty hike. It starts off somewhat tough right away but actually eases out the closer you get to the peak. If you're not used to hiking then it will be a good workout but even fitter people will find a challenge to it. Currently (Feb. 2017) there's a few downed trees with a couple that aren't easy to climb over/under and will force you to probably have to leave the trail temporarily. There's probably great views along the way but, unfortunately, a cloud was directly on top of the mountain when I went so I saw nothing but mist.

In order to reach the trailhead from your car, you'll need to follow signs for Mt. Lake. There's a small parking lot (room enough for about 6 cars) along the lake. To the left of the shelter with the cooking stove is a trail to Little Summit. Follow the trail for 1 mile until you reach the crossroads where you can continue the 0.2 miles to Little Summit (might as well!) or veer right for another 2 miles to the top of Mt. Constitution. On the way back, you can opt to either return the way you came or cross the parking lot and road and take the trail leading to Twin Lakes. Further sites along the route involve the Twin Lakes and Cascade Falls. From September to May, be cautious of mountain bikers!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Great views, a lot of history. 65 year old grandfather was able to enjoy as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's a climb.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

This was a great hike. I didn't think it was all that hard. We actually did this hike over Valentine's weekend. It was unusually warm, in the mid 70's at Rosario Resort. Took the good part of the day but would love to do it again!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Absolutely beautiful. The mountain kicked my ass but it was totally worth it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Have done this hike twice. The second time, I got married at the top. There's a school cave off to the right about 5/8 of the way up. Gorgeous views! Be aware there is a road up the back, so there will be sightseers at the top.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This trail is rough... It was the most intense incline I've hiked.

Monday, September 22, 2014

09/21/2014 (Sunday) - We did a variation of this trail and started at the south campground on Cascade Lake. From there we hiked to the Cascade Falls, Mountain Lake, and Twin Lakes before making our ascent to the top of Mt Constitution. The trail is well maintained the entire way, and very easy until the last leg up to the top. Then, it's nothing but switchbacks and a killer incline. Definitely worth the trip.

More on my hiking blog at

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Mt. Constitution trail is very pretty but tough. We knew what the elevation gain was going to be when we started and got worried come mile two when it felt like we had not ascended at all. Well, you work for it at the end. It was tough but worth it. It is a little odd though to get to the summit of a mountain and be greeted by tons of people who drove to the top in the car...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My husband and I hiked this trail from Mountain Lake and up the steep northeastern side of the mountain in January. The road was closed due to snow but we were DETERMINED to see the top. We set out in mid-afternoon and trekked for hours, eventually meeting the snow line. It seemed like the hike would never end and the sun was beginning to set! We made it to the top with just enough time to see the sun go down from the tower and then we made a mad scramble down the ridge trail. I'm glad we brought our headlamps as the final bit of the hike we trod along in darkness. It was a true adventure that I don't recommend. : ) But go in the warmer months with plenty of time to hike and you won't regret the views from the top!!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

This hike can be easy or difficult because there are a few different ways to the top. We were staying at Rosario resort so we took the shuttle to cascade lake and started there. We followed the cold creek path that winds up the south west side. It is a constant elevation gain with many switchbacks. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach the top while taking tons of pictures along the way! It is very rewarding at the top, the views are incredible!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The only bad thing is about this trail is trying to get there...the ferries can be a nightmare. We drove it, then hiked it. Just because you can drive to the top does not mean it's not worth the hike. Read the whole story on my blog and see pictures.

Load More