Hike the East Bank of Baker Lake

Washington Baker Lake Trailhead

Added by Kelsey Willis

A low-key forest hike with rolling trails, lots of waterfalls and creeks, and stunning lake views of Mt. Baker. The trail is a 14.5 mile through-hike, but the first 4.5 miles out make for a lovely day hike.

Access the hike from a 26.5-mile drive down Baker Lake Rd to the Baker Lake Trailhead. Note that the last 6 miles are unpaved and rather rough. The trail starts at low elevation so there's rarely snow or condition concerns, even in early spring.

The trail runs alongside and then crosses the Baker River on a large suspension bridge very early on - there's beautiful views up and down the river, framing Mt. Baker.

You'll come upon Hidden Creek and a series of other bridged cascades as you go up and down the hillside. Great photo ops.

There'll be a few unbridged streams and cascades, but nothing too slippery - keep your eyes out for little critters as there's tons of frogs and birds to spy near the water!

Eventually, around 2.5 miles in, you'll start being able to see the lake through the trees! It's completely worth following the little side trails off to the beachy spots along the lake - there are fantastic views of the clear water and of Mt. Shuksan. The first side trail you see is worth a go, but don't stop there, since there will be even better views in about a half mile. Once there, walk along the sandy lakeside, around the peninsula until you see views of Mt. Baker - it's off-trail but completely worth the stump climbing. The views are gorgeous and it's a change of pace from the mossy woods above.

Along here, there are campground spaces and even a picnic bench for eating lunch along the way.

Before you turn around, follow the Baker Lake Trail just a little further to the bridge crossing Noisy Creek - true to the name, you'll hear it before you see it, but it's a beautiful cascade down into the lake.

Bring bug spray and keep your eyes out for colorful wildflowers along the paths, especially later into the summer.

Pack List

  • Washington Forest Discover Pass
  • Bug Spray
  • 10 Essentials (it's easy to get turned around along the lake - make sure you have a map or compass)
  • Picnic lunch!
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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

500 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

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How to Get There

5 months ago

Great All Season Hike

My dogs and hike this one all winter if we can get to it. We typically come in from end not described but indicated by the map. If you follow the map you will cross the dam and start on the south end of the trail-no suspension bridge. The text description takes you to the north end of the trail. The trail is mostly downhill out and there is one creek crossing that can be a little sketchy if you start from the south end. Plenty of views of the lake and Mt Baker. This is the end I prefer starting from.

5 months ago

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