Mount Erie stands as dramatic landmark, anchoring the heart of Fidalgo Island. Its ancient forests, tribal and pioneering history, and ultimate protection within the 2,800-acre Anacortes Community Forest Lands have been central to the island’s history. Erie’s trails, twisting road, dramatic cliffs, and panoramic views have, for over a century, drawn visitors and recreationalists to experience its seasonal magic.
For local resident Dallas Kloke—as for so many—Mt. Erie was a “home away from home.” Over decades, he spent thousands of hours running on and caring for its trails, revealing the challenges of its rocky cliffs and crags, and guiding others to explore his sanctuary.
Mt. Erie was where Kloke discovered his passion for rock climbing, ultimately establishing its cliffs and walls as a climber’s haven. As the mountain’s fervent advocate he established and maintained trails, cleaned climbing routes, built belay platforms, and placed bolts and anchors to improve the sport’s safety.
Kloke’s desire to share the mountain’s unique features culminated in the 2005 publication of Rockin’ on the Rock: a Guide to Mt. Erie Climbing.
This revered outdoorsman ran as well as climbed, founding two of Skagit County’s oldest road runs—the Mt. Erie Road and Trail Run and Washington Park Sunset Loop Relay Run, each with its own unique challenges. Sunset Run, Kloke said, was “a way to have fun with a few friends instead of running by myself.” The runs continue, under the Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department, as community recreational events and memorials to Dallas Kloke.
In 2010, then 71-year-old Kloke was enjoying an early fall climb with friends in the North Cascades when his life came to a tragic end. His 50 years of mountaineering and rock climbing had spanned from Peru to Alaska, and New York to Mt. Erie.
Kloke’s passion for climbing was second only to his faith, family, and friends. As husband, father, grandfather, teacher, coach, mentor, and friend, Kloke embraced life to the fullest. His legacy endures in a mountain blessed by his stewardship and within those who carry on the values he shared of trust, focus, and commitment.