Live Life To The Fullest
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
Magnificent old growth forests, stellar views of Mount Baker, turbulent tributaries,and, of course, a beautiful lake make this trail a great path to travel.
With two access points and multiple campsites, the full 14-mile Baker Lake Trail offers a remarkable wilderness experience for hikers of all ages and abilities. The trail can accommodate a range of hiking interests, from short day hikes to overnight backpacking excursions. And thanks to the trail’s low elevation, it is accessible even when most other Cascadian trails are buried under snow.
The trail flanks the eastern edge of Baker Lake, created by the 1959 damming of the Baker River. Starting from either the north or south trailhead, hikers will encounter a forest of maturing Douglas firs. Cedar used to dominate, but the 1843 eruption of Mount Baker triggered a forest fire, reducing the old-growth cedars to burnt snags.
Cedar remains among the towering firs provide evidence of this historical event. Along the trail, foliage, fungus, lichen and moss never fail to impress. Mushrooms dot the forest floor allowing hikers to forage for fabulous fungus as they traipse through the woods, and the towering trees draped with old man’s beard provide shelter from the drizzly mist that accompanies most winter hikes in the Northwest.
Join us on August 20th.
The park includes forested upland bluffs, beaches and tidal mudflats with spectacular views of the Strait of Georgia and the orca that pass by. Watch seals bask offshore, discover starfish and other beach life when you visit Lily Point.
This incredible site has public restrooms near the parking area. To access the beach, take the Multi-Use Loop Trail 0.3 miles to the Beach Access Trail. Stop there for panoramic views of the point and then take the switch backing beach trail 0.4 miles to the beach. For hiking and birding in upland forest, take the other half of the Loop Trail 0.6 miles back to the parking area.
History: Thanks to a conservation easement forged by Bellingham’s Whatcom Land Trust, Lily Point became a Whatcom County Park in 2007.
Archeologists date human occupancy on the point back at least 9000 years. For centuries, Coast Salish Native Peoples maintained their primary reef net fishery and a summer village for as many as 500 people at Lily Point.
Here the Lummi Nation ancestors each year performed their “first salmon” ceremony to assure the annual return of the fish they depended on. They called this place Chelhtenem, “hang salmon for drying.” An 1881 newspaper reported 10,000 salmon caught by 3 reef nets in 6 hours. The Trust maintains responsibility for the site’s long-term stewardship.
You’ll find bald eagles scouring the beach, great blue heron stalking the tidelands, and a host of waterfowl and shore birds that visit Boundary Bay. At peak times of the year, more than 100 eagles have been spotted on the beach.
This trip is in June.
Join us for a day of fun filled hiking, site seeing and relaxation on Lummi Island.
The Baker Preserve is managed by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust. The trail climbs steeply up Lummi Mountain for 1.6 miles to an overlook which provides westerly views of the San Juan Islands and the Olympics.
Sunset Beach- This shared beach with adjoining public tidelands is located on the west side of Lummi Island overlooking Rosario Strait.
This trip is in early August.
his gorgeous loop hike has it all: big views of Mounts Baker and Shuksan, as well as the North Cascades, alpine lakes for swimming, and well-maintained trail winding through meadows and heather. And with wildflowers in spring, blueberry bushes for trail-side snacking in late summer and blazing color in the fall, you can't pick a bad season to visit.
Since this is a loop hike accessible from three separate parking lots, there are many options for this adventure, though as is often the case, some choices are better than others. This description addresses two directions of the same loop, which both offer stunning views and plenty of trailside rewards along the way.
From the Artist Point parking lot, hike counter-clockwise. This gets the steep, road-adjacent Wild Goose section out of the way by descending it first and then climbing up to Herman Saddle. This direction means you'll hit the high point of the loop on fresh, strong legs, and allows you to enjoy the lakes and milder hiking later in the day.
From the Artist Point parking lot, look for the privy. Just to the right of it is an unmarked trail. Follow this down a short ways through the rocks, cross the road leading to overflow parking, and look for a tall, permanent cairn marked "Wild Goose Trail." Follow this well-maintained but steep trail down to the Austin Pass/Heather Meadows parking lot.
As you descend, pause to admire Bagley Lakes below and look across to see the Chain Lakes trail cutting across the hillside, between Table Mountain (left) and Mount Herman (right) up to Herman Saddle.
This hike is in early August
Enjoy up-close, breathtaking views of Mount Shuksan’s west face, along with views of Fisher Chimney, the upper and lower Curtis Glacier, as well as Mount Baker from the trail to Lake Ann. The lake in a rocky basin, in the midst of this spectacular scenery. On some days you can hear ice echoing through the valley as it crashes down the face of Mount Shuksan. This is a late season hike, as snow can linger here into August.
The trail begins just below Artist Point and is well marked from a paved parking lot. Start your hike by descending on switchbacks through sub-alpine forest. Soon you will reach a sign indicating you are entering the Mt. Baker Wilderness.
Up to this point in the hike the trail can be rocky and root filled, but soon you will enter sub-alpine forest on an easy, level, and well maintained trail, catching peek-a-boo glimpses of Baker and Shuksan. The trail briefly breaks out into the open right before the Swift Creek trailhead. Here there is a privy available and you can see the unmaintained Swift Creek trail on your right. From this junction, you will start ascending, re-entering sub-alpine forest with views of Mount Baker.
After re-emerging from the forest, look across the basin at your starting point. Here you'll have views of Artist Point, the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail, and spectacular views of Baker. Enjoy wildflower displays that surround you as your views of Baker start to recede. But never fear--soon you'll see the tops of Mount Shuksan and Fisher Chimney on your approach to the saddle above Lake Ann.
Peer down at Lake Ann from the saddle. As you continue down, Lake Ann will be on your right and you will come to a 'T'. The trail to the right will lead down to Lake Ann, complete with camping spots and a climber's path that will take you to the foot of Lower Curtis Glacier; the Fisher Chimney climbing route for Mount Shuksan. The real prize at this junction of the trail is directly in front of you, though--an up-close and personal view of the west face of Mount Shuksan. Take in this awe-inspiring sight before continuing down to the lake or take the path to Lower Curtis Glacier.
The Chanterelle Trail is one of the many trails in the Park's plan. At 2.4 miles, the trail offers long switchbacks uphill to a remarkable view of Lake Whatcom, Puget Sound, and the San Juan Islands. While the view is gorgeous, you'll pay the price to get there -- it's 1000 feet of elevation one way.
This trip is in early July