Explore 2015 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My first year hiking!

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Hiked 2Dec2018, plenty of snow up there. Recommend poles and micro spikes. Road to the TH gets a little sketchy with snow and ice about 2 miles in. Our friends four wheel drive Jeep Cherokee made it up no problem but we passed a few vehicles pulled off prior to the TH. The trail itself was pretty good. Wasnt difficult at all as there's so many switchbacks that they have a pretty level grade. It's STEEP looking down though and there's a few spots towards the top that were pretty nerve racking for my 13 year old. Once we got near the top thr trail took you to nowhere so we ended up back tracking a little and snowshoeing a new trail but we were unable to make a trail to the summit. Maybe if we didn't have kids we would've tried but thr risk reward wasn't there. Stay to the right at thr trees on the top. The way down was easy except for those few spots I mentioned earlier we kept our snowshoes on. Weather was foggy and cloudy so we didn't get much of a view other than the lake below. Still a beautiful hike, highly recommended.

hiking
14 days ago

We hiked on Saturday (11/24). Road and trail were covered with snow. We parked about 2 miles from the TH and walked up the road. Other cars were able to make it about a mile from the trail head before the snow and ice were too much to continue. The last 200-300 meters before the TH were covered in about a foot of untouched snow. View from the TH was great! Everyone we saw come up after us didn't continue beyond the TH. We continued up the trail, which would be difficult to do without snow shoes and gators/waterproof pants. Without any tracks in front of us and 1 -2 feet of fresh snow, it made for a much tougher hike up. There were points when it was a bit difficult to find the trail and we were definitely glad we had the right gear. Great views all the way up!

Beautiful and pretty steep hike up. You can camp, but no fires so I'd recommend if you want to that you do it in the warmer months.

Perhaps the most impressive and accessible view of Baker you can get! This hike offers a great variety of fun – a river crossing, meadows, and forests. This hike isn't that hard, there's one moderate climb about halfway through, but once out of the treeline, the scenery is incredible. Fall colors are everywhere in September and early October, with Baker constantly overhead. Both the fire lookout and Railroad Grade are amazing.

November 18, 2018:
Trail: 80-90% covered in well packed snow; microspikes highly recommended, other hikers were turning around, a couple were going for it without anything but it just makes life so much easier. Only passed a handful on the trail and we had the summit to ourselves around noon.
Road: The few hundred feet just before the trailhead is covered in a thin layer of snow/ice but we made it easily in a Jeep Cherokee. It will make for a sketchy drive when it refreezes each night, due to not all of it being rutted down to gravel.

***Please, stay off the switch back shortcuts because they are causing trail erosion!

Awesome hike. More than 3/4 for the road of potholes have been filled in. Snow was fun to hike in.❄️

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

A clear October day and all the fall colors makes this trail one of the most gorgeous hiking experiences. If I were going to try to get a beginner hooked on hiking I'd start them here! The scenery payoff is huge for such a moderate hike. We started from the upper lot, but I'd recommend starting at the lower lot. It has a lake and picnic tables. A perfect spot to finish up!

The views are amazing! So worth the trip, logged about 8 miles and got snowed out. A cold but fun night.

Beware! There are two parking lots. The upper one, at Artist’s Point, was where we started. 4 hours later, when we got around to the lower one it was pretty demoralizing to find that we still had a ton of steep uphill to climb. Next time we will start in the lower lot and go counterclockwise so we get the uphill part done first.

My 12-year-old rates it as “moderate”. Her idea of “hard” is Mt. Si.

Views were incomparable. Dogs were off leash but friendly. People were also off leash but friendly.

We left the trailhead in the dark and still weren’t the first to arrive at the lookout. The guy there said we could share so it worked out great. Clear weather, didn’t even freeze at night. Watched sunset and sunrise and hiked to tarns and bell pass. Tons of day hikers came and went. The trail is boulders in a couple areas below, easy to cross the almost dry river. The twin Sisters range is amazing from up there. Trail got a bit steep when we were just about to the lookout. I’m 68, you can do it too. Mt Baker is my favorite anyway.

This trail was simply amazing from beginning til the end. Felt on another planet. Breathtaking view. Not as hard as it seems

Did the trail 10.21.18 and it was perfect weather. Clear skies, not too cold. I started early (8am) from the lower parking lot and went clockwise. Great scenery, lots of friendly people on the trails (and dogs too!) and the elevation gains were never too strenuous at any one point. I look forward to coming back! Really enjoyed this one.

We lucked out with a perfect fall day to enjoy this spectacular hike. It was busy (not surprising as this is probably the last really nice weekend we will have for the year) but people and their dogs were all friendly and well-behaved (unlike at some other popular spots we have been).

Loved the variety of landscapes/scenery the entire way up and the views are hard to beat throughout. We enjoyed a lunch break at the tarns and saw a few people who set up camp alongside the water (noted for next time). As others have mentioned, the last 1/2 to 1 mile is challenging, but making it up to the lookout structure is worth it for truly panoramic views.

We arrived around 11am and found a mostly full parking lot, though still a few spots to park. Total we spent about 4-4.5 hours on the 7.5-8 mile round trip hike with about 20-30 minutes spent taking photos, enjoying lunch and the views, etc.. Definitely a challenging hike but well worth it!

1 month ago

Leg burning 8 mile out and back with Stunning open unobstructed up close views of Mount Baker glaciers. Surprised how Super crowded trail was on a mid October sunny weekend,
Epic glacier views and crowds rival Paradise on Mount Rainier and Bakers Artist Point over popularized PNW destinations.
At least a dozen off leash dogs made wildlife invisible.., when we finally reached the steep top of the ridge two different loose dogs made safety a concern while we were climbing on and off the precariously perched cliff top lookout. Should really make this trail dog free.

Amazing!!!! Spectacular views of the huge craggy mountain peaks, glaciers and Hidden Lake. Meadow has really pretty fall foliage coloring right now. We hiked yesterday, Oct 18th, and temps were perfect. Barely any snow - did not need crampons. Trail started getting muddy in the afternoon. Hiked at a moderate pace and took us 5.5 hrs (with 1.25 hrs spent sitting at the summit overlooking the lake).

Drive to/from trailhead off of Cascade River Rd is as bad as the other reviews say. Guessing it took us 45 min to get up & 30 min on way down. Gets dark early these days! Bring a headlamp if you're starting late!

Beautiful mountain views the entire hike! Lots of steep switchbacks and definitely longer than 2.5 miles r/t. Our app showed approx 1,300' elevation gain. We also ended at the little maroon colored square at the end of the dotted line, not where All Trails has the trail ending at Sauk Mountain peak. Looked on our descent and did not see a trail going to the right. View from the trailhead is really pretty for those who don't choose to hike it.

Took us a half hour to get up the road in our 2WD van, but we made it to the trailhead just fine.

So beautiful right now! I don’t think the fall colors are past their peak like another reviewer said; I think they’re in their prime. Absolutely breathtaking right now. Well worth it, and a favorite for sure.

Amazing views. Went there on the perfect weekend. Snow had accumulated in the morning. Not much. We started the hike at 12.30pm. Snow had pretty much melted. Took us, amateurs, 3.5 hours to reach the lookout. Elevation was definitely felt. Beautiful fall red colors. Hike would definitely need more expertise when snow starts accumulating.

The views were breathtaking and Baker felt like it was right there! Great cell service with Verizon at the top (just not inside the fire-lookout structure). Everyone I spoke with said the last mile was a push. When you see the structure from below, keep going. It’s not as far or as close as you think.

The trail was in great shape except two riverbed crossings.... Just walk straight across. There was a bridge to help you across, it’s gone but very easily crossed at the time of my hike (10/16/18)

The road up to the trailhead was in relatively great shape. There were some potholes but that’s a given on heavily traveled dirt roads. The trailhead is 30 minutes from Concrete.

Tip: There are two drive up, single night campsites next to the trailhead.

walking
1 month ago

such a beautiful trail for relatively moderate amount of work. A must see. take your camera.

hiking
1 month ago

Jaw dropping sceneries starting from the 1st minute you get out from the car. The trail is easy for those who have average fitness level. Would recommend hiking clockwise starting with the Wild Goose Trail @ the Heather Meadows Visitor centre, then joining the trailhead of Chain Lakes Loop at the Artist Point. The trail had icy and muddy sections but nothing too technical. Hiking poles will help.

My husband, dog and I hiked this yesterday (10/14). The weather conditions were perfect at a cool 45°, not a cloud in the sky, and no wind; all of which I find pretty amazing for the middle of October in the Cascades.

We started at 12:05, reached the lookout at 3:00, started descending at 3:30, and reached the vehicle by 6:10.

I loved the different layers of this hike; dense forest, uncovered meadows blanketing the slopes, boulder fields dotting the top, and a challenging scramble to reach your destination.

There were a few pockets of snow and on our descent, the top half of the trail was a muddy mess, otherwise it was very manageable. The few morning hikers we met mentioned seeing a mama bear and her cub in the meadow above the trail but we didn't see them. Also for any fur parents, my 40 lbs. lab mix did not fair well with rock scrambling to the lookout and down.

All in all, I really enjoyed it. The worst part was the brutal 4 mile road to the trail head.

What an amazing hike, one of my favorite’s so far in Washington! It’s a calf/quad/booty burner and there’s a considerable scramble to the lookout, but it’s so worth it. The views from the lookout are breathtaking! The only thing I’d say is that the road to the trailhead is rough, covered in potholes. Get there early as the parking lot is small and the road to the trailhead isn’t wide, so it’s tough to park on the road before the trail. A must-do hike!

Easy trail (for me) with very beautiful views.
Highly recommended. The only downside is the business of this trail.

What I mean by easy for me: I haven’t done any super hard trails in WA or anywhere for that matter. I’ve been hiking occasionally ever since I remember. Did about 3 hikes the past summer (not many :( ). Athletic in general but have worked out only about once per week recently.

hiking
1 month ago

We got to the trailhead around 9:30 today and the parking lots was mostly empty, when we returned around 2:30 it was slammed! We started at the lower parking lot and went counter clockwise (if you’re looking at the bathrooms, to the right). This meant we had a fairly steep incline for the first 1.5 miles (and it felt like it just kept going!), but we were super glad we didn’t start at the upper lot and then have to go up the steep stairs at the end (these would start the hike if you went left from the bathrooms). It was busy in places but largely not too bad at all. There were lots of dogs off leash on the trail which is really dumb. There’s a good bit of narrow spaces and scramble areas and we definitely saw these dogs getting underfoot of others. Fall colors were gorgeous and I’m glad we got this hike in before the season ended! The hike was quite muddy and there were some icy patches but not bad. We did okay without poles, but my knee might be happier if I’d used them. Is it the hardest hike? No. Is it an easy walk through nature? Also no.

Crazy amounts of gorgeous! Started at Artist Point parking lot north end. Went clockwise. Finished at west end of Visitor center parking lot & ended with the mega staircase before crossing street to our parking lot. This is a full-package hike!

Did it yesterday. The view is awesome. I don't think it is a hard trail, comparing with other hard trail. It took me 4.5 hour to finish, including stop for picture shooting time.

Drove down from Vancouver BC today to do this one and Skyline Divide. I consider neither one hikes, more like pretty nature walks. Pretty views with very little effort did however leave me feeling pretty unaccomplished but my puppy loved it. Way too busy

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