Here’s a hike for everyone! It is an out and back hike no matter how far you go. End of trail is maybe 4.5 miles, but you can turn around at any point and feel that you have had a genuine mountain experience at any distance.
This trail is only available to access from about late June to Mid October, as the parking lot is at 5000ft and is a State Highway.
Mt. Baker looms in front of you while Mt Shuksan keeps an eye on your back.
If there is only one mountain hike you can do, this is the one. It requires no special skills or equipment. It is not a lot of elevation
change so hikers of all ages can participate. It gives you a real above-the-timberline, rocky experience without having to hike through all that brush to get there. You drive to the Artist Ridge parking lot on the ridge between Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan, this is the major elevation increase that puts you at the timber line. (See photo to left of an example of the trail conditions.)
As always, I recommend trekking poles and a printed map of the various options and routes along this trail. There are a few side trails that can be taken, even one that circles around Table Mountain, skirts Chain Lakes and returns you to Picture Lake. But, if you have parked at the Artist Ridge parking lot, that is where you want to return to.
Detailed information on this trail can be found at Washington Trails Association.
More of my own photos below, click to view in larger size:
’til next time,
Highland Garden House B & B
501 E. Highland Ave.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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