Chuckanut Mountains

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Fossils of Sabalites campbelli, extinct Palm leaves, in the Chuckanut Formation.

The Chuckanut Mountains (from "Chuckanut", a native word for "Long beach far from a narrow entrance"[1]), or Chuckanuts, are located on the northern Washington state coast of the Salish Sea, just south of Bellingham, Washington. Being a part of the Cascade Range, they are the only place where the Cascades come west down to meet the sea. The Chuckanuts are considered to be a part of the Puget Lowland Forest Ecoregion.

The range contains Larrabee State Park, the first State Park to be designated in Washington (1923). Its mountains include:


The Chuckanut Mountains were formed by the folding of the Chuckanut Formation (which is predominantly made up of layers of 55-million-year-old sandstone, conglomerate, shale, and bituminous and sub-bituminous coal) and the later Huntingdon Formation (predominantly shale and sandstone) on top, as well as an exposed section of pre-Jurassic-age phyllite.[2] The Chuckanuts are well known for their Tertiary Period leaf fossils.[3]

In 1988, an outcrop of metamorphic phyllite, green chert, and milk quartz on Blanchard Mountain was exposed by a construction crew. The outcrop is unique for its unusually large chunks of stilpnomelane.[4]


  1. ^ "Washington Place Names - Search".
  2. ^ "BP Cherry Point Cogeneration Project, Application for Site Certification" (PDF). Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.
  3. ^ Sykes, Karen (21 March 2001). "Let mind and feet wander at lovely Squires Lake Park". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  4. ^ George E. Mustoe (December 1998). "Stilpnomelane at Blanchard mountain, western Skagit County, Washington". Washington Geology. 26 (4): 3–8.

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Coordinates: 48°40′44″N 122°28′5″W / 48.67889°N 122.46806°W / 48.67889; -122.46806