Trail Run Project Logo

North Butte from Lower Blanchard Hill Trailhead



9.8 mile 15.8 kilometer loop
87% Runnable


Ascent: 1,666' 508 m
Descent: -1,666' -508 m
High: 2,184' 666 m
Low: 668' 204 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

A great, moderate pace trail; ten miles roundtrip with amazing views at the top.

Anne Pelton

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open year round, open to horses/biking/running. North Butte Trail is open only to those on foot.


A nicely-paced trail, the run starts off easy on the Lower Blanchard Hill Trail. There are some steeper sections on Max's Shortcut Trail, but you only reach these after having had a good time to warm up. All trails are very well signed, and there are even several maps along the way. Trails are well-maintained and runners will find plenty of options for exploring. Enjoy the amazing views from the top of North Butte Trail!

Need to Know

This is a great long run with manageable elevation gain and very well-maintained trail the entire way to the North Butte Trail. Great trail signs at every intersection and several maps along the way make it easy to stay oriented.


This is a great run. It's near town but a perfect escape. Starting from the parking lot, follow the sign for the Lily Lizard Trail, which climbs gradually up to reach the Upper Blanchard Hill Parking Lot. Another map is available, turn left and go down the road a little further for the trail on the right.

Work you way up the Lily Lizard Trail. From here, you can see / hear the road to the Samish Overlook on your left, but it's rare that cars are on it. Make your way up and turn left onto the Lily Max Connector. Every intersection is well-labelled with signs and occasional maps.

The trail gets a bit steeper, but still is easy/moderate at this point. Continue to the Max's Shortcut Trail on the right. This continues up then levels off and even gives you a rest with some downhill areas. There are occasional bugs in this area, but the going is not too bad.

You'll arrive at Lily Lake Trail and another map. Turn left and then a quick right toward Lily Lake and Lizard Lake. You'll work your way along the left (west) side of Lily Lake. Continue past the "hiker camping area". At the end of the lake, continue a short distance and you'll see a sign on your right that shows Lizard Lake ahead and Lily Lake behind you. Look uphill slightly for the North Butte Trail sign.

North Butte Trail is for visitors on foot only. It gets a bit steep and traverses over rocks in places, but it is a short trail and the views are worth it. Continue uphill for 0.2 miles and you'll find a few large rocks and amazing views of the forest and Puget Sound.

Once you've admired the views, simply retrace your steps to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Squirrels and good amount of flowers at times. Large birds can often be seen soaring at the viewpoint.


Land Manager: WA DNR

Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Aug 3, 2019
Katie H
10.5mi — 2h 00m
Jun 12, 2019
Jacob Sheetz-Willard
The trail has been relocated to start from the lower parking lot (not down the road). 10.5mi — 1h 35m
Mar 23, 2019
Kimberly Glodowski
8mi — 1h 47m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Washington


110 Views Last Month
1,841 Since Jul 12, 2017



View from North Butte Trail
Jul 12, 2017 near Bow, WA
Bird soaring over North Butte viewpoint.
Jul 12, 2017 near Bow, WA
Last small scramble up to top of North Butte Trail.
Jul 12, 2017 near Bow, WA
North Butte Trail, near the top.
Jul 12, 2017 near Bow, WA
View from  North Butte
Aug 8, 2019 near Alger, WA
Lily Lake.
Jul 12, 2017 near Bow, WA