Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Mt. Baker National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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!

Awesome views! Had a great time in the lookout

Hiked on Saturday 10/6. About half way up there was snow on the ground. Microspikes were helpful since there was some ice as well. It was a clear day so the view was absolutely breathtaking. If you want to hike this, make sure you do it very soon before the trail gets too snowy! Definitely best to do this on a sunny and clear day. The trail is pretty much up hill the whole way but it isn’t horrible since it’s a shorter trail. Minor scramble at the top. My dogs are normally pretty good scrambling on boulders but this one made them very nervous, especially with the snow.

Beautiful

What an amazing hike! A lot of up to start, but worth making it to the top. Amazing fall colors, saw a black bear, scenery is stunning all the way up, and had great views of both Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak! The road would be a little tough for anyone not in a high clearance vehicle. Overall though, just stunning.

I wish there were words to explain this hike but there ain’t. North Cascades has always been my favorite place in Washington State but the view from the lookout at the end of this hike - breath taking doesn’t begin to describe it. Not even close.

on a clear day this hike is spectacular, unfortunately i didn’t have that privilege. nonetheless, the lake was serene at the top and it felt like a worthy day. not a single soul on the way up, nobody at the top, only 3 people on the way down that were heading up. moderate elevation gain. you’ll spend some time out there!

I came back nearly a month later and was able to summit. My last trip I fell short just at the lookout. This time I made the entire trip. There wasn't any snow fields to cross which turned out to be an absolute better alternative to hop boulders. Once you're through the boulder field, you'll hook around the mountain in which the Lookout is on top of and you'll instantly be mortified of how much more you have to traverse to make it up. Never fear, the last climb goes fast and it's not as hard as it looks. Good luck!

Just perfect. Beautiful views most of the way along the trail. The views from the lake and lookout are one of a kind-you can see most of the Cascades from Rainier to Baker. Perfectly ripe berries all along the way were the icing on the cake. It is certainly a lot of work though-the way down seems especially steep on the legs.

AMAZING!!!!!!!

I will give this hike a 5-star rating because it was well worth the struggle to the top. I didn't make it to the lookout, though. I fell short just after the last snow field. I became ill with heat exhaustion and I had to turn back. My legs were cramping up so bad I could barely stand. I apparently did not bring enough water. I was soaked in sweat. The trail is easily defined but you'll need to pay attention through the middle part because you can easily lose sight of it. The views are incredible. I am returning to summit this one next week.

Been to many national parks. Glacier, yosemite, grand Teton.... This is up there with the best

Hiked up to the lookout today 8/13/18. Started at 7:30am and was the first one at the empty lookout. Unfortunately it is entirely socked in with smoke at the moment, making the views extremely limited at the top. The hike itself was pretty strenuous but beautiful. Wildflowers galore! The road up to the trail is in pretty bad shape. Definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle and some good tires. (My outback did fairly well)

Great hike with wonderful views of the lake at the end! Scenery changes often with forest at the beginning, followed by meadows that transition into alpine vegetation and finally the overlook of the beautiful lake at the end. We found camping spots on the ridge just before getting to the National Park, but you could also camp about a 1/4 mile before the ridge and find many spots. Very difficult to actually get down to the lake. Road takes a while on the drive in/out so plan accordingly.

Spectacular!!!! There was smoke from the fires but none the less excellent hiking... 8/9/18

Fantastic hike with challenging elevation, well worth with 360 view at the top

One of my favorites. Lots of fun to climb.

Very good hike with enough elevation gain to be challenging but still manageable. The view from the lookout afforded pretty amazing views in all directions. The one drawback today was the available views were a bit diminished in clarity by haze from forest fires. Bugs were annoying but not dreadful on the lower reaches of the trail.

If anyone sees an Orange REI rainfly laying around on the road somewhere please contact me at cranswic@hawaii.edu... lost on July 24th

The hike was GREAT! Totally gets your blood pumping and then the views take your breath away!

My favorite hike in WA! Bring bug spray and get there a little early to get a good parking spot.

Awesome trail! It is rated correct as hard. It’s no so much the length of the trail as much as it’s the up and up and up some more. There plenty of water on the trail and snow. I found it was easier to cross the 4 snow packs with my crampons as my knee was not liking the unstable surface. Views were AMAZING! Lots of wild flowers and water falls. You will not be alone I. This trail for long. It is very busy but not over crowded. Parking is a problem if your not there by 8 a.m. at the latest. In the way down cars were parked for a half mile making the already super narrow road worse. Enjoy the hike, take pics

Awesome trail! The views from the lookout are breathtaking. Just make sure to get to the TH before 0800. Parking is very limited. We luckily squeezed into a spot, but by the time we left, cars were lined up along the side of the road (extremely close to a steep ledge as well) for at least half a mile. Besides the parking, it is a great, diverse hike! Would love to go back and be the lucky one to snag the lookout for the night.

July 14, 2018: Amazing hike!
Road to trailhead is rough leave your Bentley at home.
Most of the trail is straight forward. Snowy parts higher up are easily navigable without fancy gear. The summit is kind of awkward since it's all boulders. The climb between the snow field and the summit is interesting, it's steep and the trail is faint in various parts and can be difficult to find, but it's doable for the average hiker. The scramble at the summit isn't that bad.

you dont need high clearance/4wd when the road is dry, but it definitely takes some slow speeds and maneuvering. it's also pretty steep and there's only room for one car most of the time.

as for the trail, it was gorgeous! lots of wild flowers waterfalls, 360 views once you get a couple miles on. there are a lot of water crossings and at some points the trail was more of a creek bed so I definitely recommend waterproof shoes.

This hike is really hard. As someone that lives in Ohio where we don’t have much elevation gain. This hike kicked my butt but it was so beautiful. I had trekking poles to help through the snow but my bf didn’t. We both did fine.

Awesome hike. Downloading the gps was helpful over some of the snow patches as none of us in the group had done this one before. Seemed like most of the snow would melt soon. Trekking poles would have been helpful but managed without.

Rocky bumpy road to the trail head recommend a high clearance vehicle but not needed if you want to risk it. Starts with a nice wooded area and the switchbacks continue through the meadows with nice flowers until you hit snow. Even though it can be done without spikes it will be nice to have them and my trekking poles proved vital in the snow. Once near the lookout prepare to climb over big boulders leading to the lookout. Once at the lookout you will have some tiny visitors looking for a snack. Totally worth the trip for an amazing unforgettable view. As of yesterday July 4th the lake was quite frozen with some snow.

My wife and I took our twin daughters in Kelly Kids carriers as far as we could go without snow spikes and axes as well as factoring in overall safety. Had to turn around at about 5800' elevation when it got too step and slick for us. Until that point the views were incredible. Wish we could have had a bit less snow so we could have seen Hidden Lake.

hiking
3 months ago

*** Hey Tray Edwards- the author of the WTA report from 6/24/18 might have your micros...

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