Chain Lakes Loop Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,820 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

bugs

hiking
5 days ago

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

hiking
5 days ago

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.

hiking
15 days ago

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!

hiking
19 days ago

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.

23 days ago

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

hiking
25 days ago

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.

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.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views! If your not in great hiking shape I would give yourself plenty of time to do this hike. Tough, but totally doable!

1 month ago

Beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

I am of very average fitness level (and overweight to boot) and although it took me quite long (6.5 hours) I was able to complete it with little difficulty. I started at Artist’ Point and took a clockwise loop. The most difficult part was the Wild Goose Trail back to our car. But if you take your time even that’s not terrible, just steep! The views are indescribable, you will never be bored. I can’t wait to come back

hiking
1 month ago

Totally a must-hike trail...Gorgeous scenery with pristine lakes, wonderful mountain views, and wild blueberries along most of the path. It did take me longer than expected, as I was hiking with a friend who doesn't hike much and went at a slower pace than expected. Save plenty of time to sit and enjoy the views from both the lakes as well as views above the lakes and at Ptarmigan Ridge.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this on a perfect sunny day with a temperature high of 15 degrees celcius. We started at Artist Point and hiked clockwise ending where we started. Beautiful views all along the trail with gorgeous snow capped mountains, lakes and colourful autumn foliage. I highly recommend this hike. One of the best hikes I’ve done. It’s not too hard and can be done by most people.

1 month ago

September 28: We hiked clockwise from the Chain Lakes Trailhead/Mt Baker Visitor Center. We were able to knock out about half of the total elevation gain when fresh. Then enjoyed the the mostly level Ptarmigan Ridge/Chain Lakes Trail from Artist Point. And then descending into the Chain Lakes Valley was beautiful. Wonderful fall colors. Wild blueberries found all through the hike. Spectacular mountain view’s reflected in calm cold lakes.

This hike is absolutely beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with views of two snowcapped summits, multiple chilly lakes to jump in, including a rock you can jump off from ~10ft high and plenty of flowers in bloom. A sampling of all of the best classic Cascades features.

2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Mountain vistas, lakes, alpine flowers and sweet wild blueberries for happy taste buds line the trail. Recommend starting at Artist’s point versus Heather Meadows, (unless you want a grueling workout) and then catch a ride back up to Artist’s point.

2 months ago

Just beautiful. We started at Heather Meadows and did a full loop. The trailhead says that it’s 7.5 miles, not 5.5. Either way we saw some amazing views and had a really wonderful hike!

2 months ago

Awesome. Come early enough, parking spots are limited.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views. Extremely packed.

Tip: Take the counterclockwise loop. Start at Heather meadows or Austin pass - those are lower down on the mountain - and end at Artist Point. That way you tackle the toughest inclines first, and you get to cruise through the latter half.

Plan on taking a dip in the lakes while you can! They're frosty, but on a sunny day you'll dry off quickly. Iceberg Lake is probably your best bet.

2 months ago

This is a yearly hike for me! Gorgeous views of Baker & Shuksan!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Fabulous afternoon hike, swam in 2 lakes and enjoyed the spectacular views.

hiking
3 months ago

Doesn’t get much better.

hiking
3 months ago

With each up and down, each bend traversed, all were meet with soaring mountain peeks, beautiful rock formations and gorgeous lakes scattered through out.
Between the spectrum of beautiful colors, the diverse changes of landscape ....I don't have the right words.to describe.This hike needs to be only experienced.
Good day, great hike!

hiking
3 months ago

A fantastic hike with amazing views of Mt Baker and 3 pretty lakes. Many patches of snow remains at higher elevations, but totally doable in hiking boots. Pack plenty of water and snacks & enjoy!!

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