Hike the Bagley Lakes Trail

Washington Bagley Lakes Trail

Added by Michael Gabbert

A hidden gem within the Mount Baker Wilderness, Bagley Lakes is the perfect hike for the family yet with views and landscape which can amaze and impress even the most seasoned hikers.

Set within the Mount Baker hiking wonderland, the Bagley Lakes trail is an easy, family-friendly hike with alpine lakes, copious amounts of wildflowers, and striking views of Table Mountain. Compared to the notoriety of many of the other hikes within the area, this is a hidden gem. 

There are actually two option to get on the trail. The first is about ½ mile beyond the Heather Meadows Ski Area and about a mile before Artist Point, you’ll encounter the sign for the Austin Pass Picnic Area. It’s a rather larger turnoff with a sizable parking lot just prior to a number of switchbacks, so it’s pretty tough to miss. The parking lot leads down to the Mt Baker Visitor Centre. Park as close to here as possible. As you exit your car and onto the trails, you’ll encounter options to enter the Bagley Lakes trailhead on your right and the Fire & Ice trailhead on your left. Go right.

The second is the Bagley Lakes trailhead, which you’ll encounter tucked back off from Mount Baker Hwy a hundred yards after the Heather Meadows ski area (and immediately after the loop around Picture Lake). 

Either option is solid, but the ease of parking, direction of trail, and sake of the article, I’d suggest the first option. At first you’ll hike down a rock face, which is relatively easy to do, but there are some built in rock stairs for assistance as well. From here the trail puts you face on with Table Mountain.  After about 100 yards into the trail, you’ll get to a small pond which can give some great reflections of the mountains ahead and sets up the beauty of the hike which is to come. As you continue down the trail Bagley Lakes will come into view and you'll continue down the hill until reach a double arched footbridge a short while later. It is here where you’ll turn east to follow Bagley Creek. Note that you will see an option for the Chain Lakes trailhead which would point you west. The bridge itself is quite stunning and the large rocks next to it are great spots to jump onto, chill and take it the lake and mountains in front of you. Continue down the trail which will at this point hug the river which feeds into and lead you to additional alpine lakes

The out and back hike comes in close to 2 miles. The low mileage and minimal elevation make it the perfect hike for the family yet with views and landscape that can amaze and impress even the most seasoned hikers. The options within Baker are copious; yet this short jaunt, while less heralded than most all others, is definitely worth checking out.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Picnic Supplies
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

150 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

8 months ago

A Photographer's Dream!

An easy drive up the highway provides stunning mountain scenery, with literally no effort! The hike itself is more of a stroll, no elevation gain or loss to speak of, but a walk around these lakes and over bridges makes for some great pictures when the light is right!

8 months ago

Added by Michael Gabbert

Minnesotan living in Seattle. Email: mjgabbert@gmail.com

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