Chain Lakes Loop Trail is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Maple Falls, WA and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until November.
Beautiful alpine trail. We hiked counter-clockwise from Artist Point so we would climb the switchbacks to the saddle in the morning. Lots of rocks and exposed trail along the way but shade and cooler conditions around the lake. We hiked in August so start early while it's cool, take plenty of water and BUG SPRAY for the lakes area.
Best place for lunch is a rocky outcrop on Hayes Lake on the north side of the trail as it passes between Iceberg and Hayes lake. Shade and a breeze from the lake to keep the bugs down.
Something for everyone on this hike: lakes; forests; mountains. My favorite hike in Mt Baker Wilderness.
Fab hike with spectacular views. Started at Bagley Lake to get the major climbing done early.
Very hard was a little too hard for me that day only did 2 1/2 and 2 1/2 out but worth it
Beautiful! Fall colors are starting to come out. The trail back to the upper parking lot is a tough end to the hike.
Gorgeous hike. Absolutely beautiful!
Beautiful views from start to finish. Enough uphill to get a sweat on but a very accessible hike regardless of fitness level. Would definitely do again! We parked at heather meadows, went up the wild goose trail to artist point, and got on the trail from there.
This is an amazing hike. It's one of the nicest hikes I've ever done.
Best hike I've done in life yet. Amazing scenery, great amount of challenge and distance, so many features (lakes, mountains, fog, flowers, snow fields, steams and creeks, variation/variety). So fun and didn't even fully see mountain so looking forward to going back again!
Completed in under 5 hours going counter clockwise starting from Heather Meadows (Start on the Bagley Lakes Trail). I'm not an experienced hiker by any means, but this was an excellent hike! Not too hard, not too easy and best of all, not too crowded. Great sights to see, though there was a fair amount of hiking in the clouds while we were there. On the date we went (August 27th), the weather was perfect. Temperature was a little on the chilly side which may have resulted in the no bug experience!
Beware of the bathrooms, easily the most putrid smell I've ever witnessed - which may be a result of the seemingly nonexistent ventilation! But you gotta do what you gotta do!
Outstanding views and lots of water. We started at the Bagley Lakes and went counter clockwise so a lot of vertical climb. If you wear a few of the "buzz off" wristbands around you and on you there won't be mosquito issues. My dog had a blast and very few were on the trail on a weekday. A must-do hike if you love mountain views and photography.
OMG. What a gorgeous hike. We took 4 hours. Don't miss it!! It's a 6 star hike. I would rate it as medium, for for a newbie it might be more difficult. Treat yourself. You won't regret it.
Very hard, if starting at heather meadows and going counterclockwise. I felt like a mountain goat! Once you come up over the ridge it's breathtaking!
Attempted this trail from Heather Meadows on July 29, 2016. Given that the USFS site said there was snow covering a portion of trail from Artist Point, we decided to do trail counterclockwise. The hike from Heather Meadows is a bit longer (8 miles RT). The first mile is easy with beautiful views of Bagley Lakes and Table Mountain. The next 1.5 miles is all uphill, about a 1,500' gain in elevation. A good portion of this climb is on talus, so it is very rocky (I had on good boots and used poles). I must say that I stopped a lot along the climb uphill to take in the breath-taking views, it doesn't get much better than this! There was plenty of cold delicious running water available on trail (I used a filter). Weather was warm, humid and sun intensity was high (so bring plenty of water or expect to pump regularly!). These conditions resulted in a high-desert girl (me) getting sunburned albeit my 50 SPF and I was drenched in sweat. At 2.5 miles, we reached Herman Saddle and enjoyed the great views of Mt. Baker. It was totally worth the climb, plus snow still on ground here. We ate lunch and realized it was taking us much longer than expected and we needed to turn around. Hiked downhill back to Heather Meadows in search of a cool dip in a stream! Next time, we will try this trail starting from Artist Point, I really want to see Iceberg Lake!
Trail Notes: People at Herman Saddle who started hike at Artist Point mentioned there were some significant patches of snow remaining on the trail. As far as crowds, it was a Friday and there were a fair number of people on trail but was not crowed at all. Compared to many trails in Sierra's, Chain Lakes on a Friday was pleasantly low population.
Did hike Oct 2. Great lakes set in mountain views.
Since we had 2 vehicles, we shortened the hike by parking 1 vehicle in Visitor Center parking lot and the other at Artist Point. Hiked from Artist Point clockwise around the loop to the visitor center. Collected cars there. This eliminates a significant climb and extra distance from the hike.
I thought much of the trail was rocky so good shoes are desirable.
We did this hike 9/12/15. Beautiful fall colors and wonderful views of Mts. Shuksan and Baker. Started at Artist Point and did the entire loop. I would rate the hike more as medium. Hiking poles helped a ton. We started about 11am. The trail was pretty congested at some spots. I recommend getting there a bit earlier than 11. Took about 4.5 hours. We stopped at Iceberg lake for about 20 mins and also at Heather Meadows for lunch. The Wild Goose trail back up to Artist Point is super steep. You gain 700 ft elevation in only a mile. Definitely the hardest part of the loop. But overall one of the best hikes and best views you can get without going too far into the back country.