From the foothills of Mt. Baker to the seaside Chuckanut Mountain, the land is thick with evergreen forests, rivers, and lakes. Hike to a ridge and look down on Bellingham Bay, race through winding mountain bike trails, or make camp in one of Washington’s stunning parks.
Walk through tunnels of bowing trees, look out over scattered islands, and eat lunch by mountain-cradled lakes. Bellingham is rated among the top communities in the country for outdoor lovers, and it’s no surprise. With 180 acres of forest and 6 miles of trails adjacent to campus, plus the Chuckanut Mountains and Larrabee State Park a short, scenic drive away, it’s easy to see why so many students are drawn to Western for its access to the wilderness. Talk to Western's Outdoor Center reps to get more tips for exploring this magnificent corner of the Pacific Northwest.
Beginner to expert, mountain bikers can’t do better than Bellingham. Galbraith Mountain is a world-class destination, with more than 50 miles of single-track routes that span over 3,000 acres overlooking the city and bay. Lake Padden and the Interurban Trail have mellow cross-country style trails, while Chuckanut Mountain offers technical terrain (roots, rocks, and steeper faces) with 1,600 feet of attainable elevation. Campus clubs, local organizations and bike shops lead tours for every level of mountain biker.
Experience the brilliance of a night sky in the mountains, cookout by Chuckanut’s wooded lakes, or sleep in an old growth forest on the Olympic Peninsula. Whether you enjoy hiking in, driving up, or pitching your tent seaside, Bellingham is a short trip from hundreds of beautiful campsites. It’s always easy to grab some friends and head out for the weekend or make your own plans and discover the multi-day expeditions Washington has to offer. No matter what, the Outdoor Center at Western has your back with advice, rental equipment, and potential trail buddies.