Turtleback Mountain to Orcas Knob

MODERATE 40 reviews

Turtleback Mountain to Orcas Knob is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eastsound, Washington that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. 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.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,322 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike recommend turtleback head trail great views!

hiking
1 month ago

This is the best trail and has the best views of any hike on Orcas Island. The views from Orcas Knob are spectacular, from S to NW and (from Waldron Overlook) N. There is no place I’d rather be than seated on the Knob on a sunny afternoon, overlooking the San Juans and Gulf Islands. The first 2/3 of the hike up are along an old logging road and the last mile (the Turtlehead/Orcas Knob Trail) is through thick forest on a beautiful path. Waldron Overlook is very shady and (like Orcas Knob) has stupendous views, and is a great spot for lunch or a break.

snow
7 months ago

Feb 17, 2019: Trail is snow covered, traction would've been nice but it wasn't impossible. The first mile and a half or so up the old road is mostly uneventful minus two side trails to viewpoints, and in snow it was one step forward half step back the whole way, which got old real quick. The first viewpoint provides nice views of the rest of Orcas Island, the second viewpoint gives a nice glimpse of islands and water north. Beyond the second viewpoint the trail finally leaves the road and meanders through moss covered trees and picturesque forest, eventually giving way to the gorgeous views from the knob.

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Worth every step. Did it the first time soon after the reserve was created and several times since.

hiking
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My wife and I hiked this trail last week and loved it. The beginning of the hike was more of an uphill climb than we had expected but was not difficult because it followed a seldom-used road. The two lookouts along the way were well worth the short detour. The second half of the trip was much better. It snaked through the woods on a much narrower, but well-maintained trail. We had expected the trail to head directly up to Orcas Knob but instead we found ourselves hiking down for quite a ways before heading up close to the end of the trail. The view from Orcas Knob was gorgeous and, with few people up at the top it was very peaceful. The signage was a bit confusing. At the point where the road changes into a hiking-only trail the sign says, "Turtlehead Overlook 1.1 mi."(see photo) We expected a sign that said "Orcas Knob." so weren't sure we were going the right direction. Once we reached the end of the trail we found the sign identifying the overlook as "Orcas Knob."

hiking
Thursday, April 19, 2018

i was looking for a relatively quick hike that my daughter and I could do while my other daughter had a pedicure with her grandmother. This was a great pick. The right up says 5.9 miles but the signs on the trail suggest 5.2 or so. As shown it does not go to the summit of Turtleback Mountain but rather the Orcas Knobb overlook on Turtlehead. i did not realize this at first so I was a bit confused. However given our time, this was a great hike and I really enjoyed the views from Orcas Head. The hike is relatively easy with some steep parts on the road section but nothing too hard. My daughter who dislikes ascents with a passion didnt even whine too much.

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