Nestled in a basin over 900 ft. up Mount Constitution, Mountain Lake is the largest lake in Moran State Park and offers some of the most dynamic inland hiking in the park. Elevation and terrain varies on the Mountain Lake Loop trail, from swampland to switchbacks overlooking the water. The loop trail itself is nearly 4 miles in length, beginning and ending at the campgrounds, with several locations that are perfect for picnics overlooking the lake and its islets. Trails leading to Twin Lakes and Cascade Falls also branch off from the loop trail and are suitable daily excursions from the nearby campsites.
The campground is located on a small peninsula next to the loop trailhead. Several of the sites can fit RVs and trailers, and all sites support tents and shelters. Fire pits and charcoal grills are available at each campsite, with cook fires permitted all season. Restroom facilities and running water are also provided for the camping area. Mountain Lake’s campground can also be reserved for a group camping event for up to 56 people and 14 vehicles. A boat launch is situated next to the campsite and can be accessed by vehicles and trailers.
Rowboats, kayaks, and canoes are all suitable for enjoying Mountain Lake and its aquatic features. Two islets are in close proximity with the shore and can be easily reached by swimmers, or accessed by boaters for an island picnic. Fish are slightly less common here than in Cascade Lake, but fishing is permitted in season from a boat or the shore and catching these fish can be a more interesting challenge. Electric motors are allowed but no internal combustion motors are permitted.
Mountain Lake’s more isolated location serves the dual purpose of putting hikers and campers deeper into the woodland mystique of Orcas Island and also getting tourists closer to Mount Constitution and other superb viewing locations in the nearby hills. The water and elevation keeps the area much cooler, and the lack of nearby road traffic encourages a more diverse range of local wildlife. There are many adventures to enjoy in Moran State Park, and Mountain Lake provides some of the best natural opportunities for adventure and exploration.