Here's a Mount Baker Highway gem that's low enough to be passable all year and at the same time easy enough for the whole family. It's also a terrific spot to witness the power of water.
Here, the North Fork of the Nooksack River, which gets its start from the glaciers of Mount Shuksan, powers its way through everything and anything in its path -- house-sized boulders, snags, and the riverbed, giving kayakers and rafters who venture here a wild ride.
From the plush parking lot, head down a set of wood steps leading to the trail at the river's edge. Follow the trail to the left as it parallels the raging river squeezing its way through a narrow gorge. In a few hundred yards, the trail climbs some steps and enters the deeper and darker wood.
After crossing a log bridge, reach a spot where there used to be a perfectly placed bench at river's edge. The bench washed out a couple of years ago (you can see the supports that used to hold it if you look closely), but you can still sit on a piece of driftwood, relax, and ooh and aah in wonder at the Nooksack, which seems to explode right before your very eyes.
Continue on if you like or turn around here. The mostly gentle riverside trail meanders through a forest of giant moss-hung firs, hemlocks and cedars that all but block out the rain on those rainy days. Eventually, the trail peters out.
- 2.4 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 220 feet
- Highest Point
- 1,200 feet
Hiking Horseshoe Bend
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.9023, -121.9117 Open in Google Maps