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Baker Lake - Maple Grove

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area
View map below

Length

8.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 500 ft.
Highest Point: 1000 ft.

Rating

3.75 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2014
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Magnificent old growth forests, stellar views of Mount Baker, turbulent tributaries,and, of course, a beautiful lake make this trail a great path to travel.

With two access points and multiple campsites, the full 14-mile Baker Lake Trail offers a remarkable wilderness experience for hikers of all ages and abilities. The trail can accommodate a range of hiking interests, from short day hikes to overnight backpacking excursions. And thanks to the trail’s low elevation, it is accessible even when most other Cascadian trails are buried under snow.

The trail flanks the eastern edge of Baker Lake, created by the 1959 damming of the Baker River. Starting from either the north or south trailhead, hikers will encounter a forest of maturing Douglas firs. Cedar used to dominate, but the 1843 eruption of Mount Baker triggered a forest fire, reducing the old-growth cedars to burnt snags.

Cedar remains among the towering firs provide evidence of this historical event. Along the trail, foliage, fungus, lichen and moss never fail to impress. Mushrooms dot the forest floor allowing hikers to forage for fabulous fungus as they traipse through the woods, and the towering trees draped with old man’s beard provide shelter from the drizzly mist that accompanies most winter hikes in the Northwest.

Numerous cascading creeks cross the trail as they make their way from the mountains above to the lake water below. Sturdy bridges span these tributaries keeping your feet dry and your brain pondering how a trail crew could build such a strong structure in the wilderness. Most impressive of all is the suspension bridge over the rushing Baker River, just a half-mile from the northern trailhead. (To hike this trail from the northern trailhead, see the East Bank Baker Lake entry from Craig Romano's Day Hiking the North Cascades http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/baker-lake).

Located intermittently along the trail, several campgrounds provide a temporary homestead for backpackers and logical turnaround point for day hikers. All camping areas are complete with fire pits and vault or backcountry toilets.

You'll find the Maple Grove campground about 4 miles from the southern trailhead. Sitting on the eastern shore of Baker Lake, this sweet little spot has six tent campsites.

A wonderful trail for getting outdoors in the midst of winter (without snowshoes or skis), the Baker Lake Trail makes a marvelous wilderness escape any time of year.

WTA Pro Tip: Drop into the Birdsview Brewing Company on Hwy 20 after your hike.

 

Baker Lake - Maple Grove

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6456, -121.6746 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area

Baker Lake (#610)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ranger District

See weather forecast

Getting There

South Trailhead: From Hwy 20, turn north on Baker Lake Rd. After 14
miles, turn right on Baker Dam Road, cross
the dam and turn left on Forest Road 1107.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Baker Lake - Maple Grove

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