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Concrete, Washington

Backpack to Maple Grove at Baker Lake

8 Miles Total - 800 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Nick A.

A great overnight trip. Maple Grove offers stunning views of Mount Baker and crystal clear Baker Lake in a laid back, campground atmosphere. 

From the Baker Lake Trailhead (south), you will start your journey toward the lake by registering your party just a few hundred feet from the parking lot. After that, you'll begin meandering around countless fingers and draws. The trail will take you up and down several times but nothing too strenuous and it won't be long before you catch your first views of the lake. The trip to Maple Grove climbs approximately 100 feet per mile but there are plenty of descents as well to keep it balanced. The way back is much of the same low to moderate level intensity. 

After 1.75 miles, you will come to a water crossing. There is a steady stream here that is about 3 feet at its deepest point. There is a log that was felled and carved as a bridge for crossing. There are no handrails but a wire that one should NOT use as a handrail; it serves as an emergency catch in case a hiker falls. This crossing can be frightening for a child but it is not difficult.

The other side of the stream is a perfect spot to take a pit stop if needed to eat a handful of trail mix, adjust your pack, or just to gaze at the water as it flows into the lake. Make your way to a fork in the trail .25 miles further where you can continue to the right or veer left to check out Anderson Point. There are numerous campsites at Anderson and if you're traveling with tiny tots, this might be a great stop for you. Either way, the views are spectacular from the Point and well worth a detour if you're bound for Maple Grove. 

At that fork, continue right and you will proceed through more of the old growth forest and more fingers and draws.  After another mile, the terrain will change slightly, with less tree coverage and more dense, waist-high vegetation. Not to fear however, as the trails are very well maintained and clearly delineated. Continue another mile and you'll find yourself at another fork where you can veer left for Maple Grove, or continue right to proceed with the Baker Lake trail. Go left.  Get to Maple Grove early and you will find plenty of good spots just a few steps from the lake. There are a couple of toilets and picnic tables for convenience. 

A few things to beware of on this hike: this lake does have some wildlife. Common Garter Snakes have been seen in densely vegetative ares of the lake's shore. These guys are not dangerous to humans, but can raise a scare if traveling with children or if your easily startled by critters. They do bite if attacked and their mild venom is known to burn a bit. 

Also, be mindful of falling trees along the route. There were a few downed trunks on our way back that weren't present on our recent trip in.

Other notes about this trip: Weekends are busy and gas-powered boats are allowed on the lake. If you're absolutely trying to get away from our species, this is probably not the hike for you. However, if you are looking to get back into the hiking/climbing season, taking adults and/or children who are new to backpacking, or if you just need a quick overnight outing, this trip comes highly recommended. I took my 9-year-old daughter on her first overnight here and I was able to keep her interested while not making it overly challenging. 

Pro tip: pay a visit to Birdsview Brewing Company off WA 20 on the way back! They have great beer and tasty fare that make for great treats after a couple days on the trail. They're kid friendly and great hosts!

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Tags

Fitness
Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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