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Chuckanut 50k

Very Difficult


31.4 mile 50.6 kilometer loop
90% Runnable
Very Difficult


Ascent: 4,341' 1,323 m
Descent: -4,343' -1,324 m
High: 1,873' 571 m
Low: 20' 6 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


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Trail shared by Tad Davis

One of the premier 50ks in the country, the Chuckanut 50k has a little of everything from the PNW.

Tad Davis

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


A premier, competitive 50k showcasing the Pacific Northwest. Broken up into three sections, the first "10k" on the Interurban Trail rail trail, the "Middle 30k" which climbs to the top of and circles Chuckanut Mountain. And, the final "10k" back to the start on the Interurban Trail.


Driving from Fairhaven on Harris Ave, turn left onto 6th St. The start is just before the first building (about 100 meters from the turn). From the start continue down 6th Ave a very short distance and watch for the trail marker on your left. Turn left onto the trail, at the first intersection turn right. You'll soon merge with the Interurban Trail.

Follow the trail beside the creek, skirting Fairhaven park and crossing multiple roads (low traffic ones). Eventually you'll turn right (continuing forward the trail will end in 0.15 miles) and wind down to a road crossing. Cross the road and enter Arroyo park. Turn left and follow the trail along the salmon stream.

Turn right and cross the bridge over the stream. Wind up a couple switchbacks and pass Lost Lake Trail on your left. Cross California street and after a short climb the trail will flatten again. Continue on the trail with great views of the San Juan Islands to your right. Pass the Cleator Road parking lot and head down and up the "Dip" before the trail flattens again. Watch for Fragrance Lake Trail on your left and turn onto it.

Climb the switchbacks to the first intersection. Head right to continue the main trail. After more climbing and switchbacks, you'll encounter the top gate. Continue straight ahead for a short way to the lake.

Take a left at the lake running counter clockwise. Watch for Two Dollar at 9 o'clock and turn left onto it.

Follow the trail up where it will intersect, take a right and head down a long sweeping switchback. You'll now head north heading mostly downhill but with a couple of steep climbs. Eventually the trail flattens and then drops significantly via many switchbacks before arriving at Cleator Road.

Head right, up and up Cleator Road. Head up the dirt road, first passing the trailhead for Two Dollar on your right, then the trailhead for Dan's Traverse on your left. Next, you'll come to the trailhead for Fragrance Lake Road on your right and finally the trailhead for Chuckanut Ridge Trail, also on your right.

Take a right onto Chuckanut Ridge Trail. Follow it to the end where it intersects with Lost Lake Trail.

Turn right and stay right on the doubletrack trail. The trail will now becoming rolling for a couple miles. At the Y-intersection at Lost Lake, stay right (left will take you to Lost Lake and the marked trail will end). Soon you'll begin to climb and will pass the Rock Trail on your right. Continue the climb and go to your right at the top. The trail will now start to drop with long sweeping switchbacks until it reaches Chinscraper on your right.

Head up Chinscraper. The trail will immediately begin climbing many switchbacks. Near the middle the trail will flatten and drop downhill shortly. The worst is yet to come. The trail will now head straight up the mountain and will require hands on rainy days when it turns to mud. Continue past the Rock Trail intersecting from the right to the very top. As you top out, turn left and head down to the Cyrus Gates Overlook Parking Lot.

Head down Cleator Road for about 3/4ths of a mile and watch for Fragrance Lake Road on your left. Turn onto Fragrance Lake Road and follow it for 3/4ths of a mile until it turns into a dirt road. At the same time you'll see a gate to your right, head through that, take a left and head through another gate. You are now on Fragrance Lake Trail. Head down this steep trail with many switchbacks until arriving back at the Interurban Trail. Take a right to reverse your first 6+ miles and follow the trail back to the start.

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Mar 17, 2018
Katie Fox
31.4mi — 6h 20m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes


in Bellingham


  5.0 from 2 votes
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10 Views Last Month
1,963 Since Apr 24, 2015
Very Difficult



Navigating the most technical part during the Chuckanut 50k.
Apr 14, 2015 near Bellingham, WA
Winding section towards the top of Fragrance Lake Trail.
Apr 14, 2015 near Bellingham, WA
On the Chuckanut 50k through Arroyo Park
Apr 23, 2015 near Bellingham, WA
A view east off of the Chuckanut Ridge Trail.
Aug 30, 2016 near Bellingham, WA
Running the 2014 Chuckanut 50k
Apr 28, 2015 near Bellingham, WA
Climbing the early switchbacks of the Fragrance Lake Trail.
Apr 14, 2015 near Bellingham, WA