Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Swift Creek

Swift Creek

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area
48.7648, -121.6699 Map & Directions
Length
16.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2700 feet
Highest Point
3930 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Photo by JustTheFacts. Full-size image
  • Old growth
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

Part of the scenic Pacific Northwest Trail, rugged 8-mile Swift Creek Trail accesses the Mount Baker Wilderness. Continue reading

Rating
2.75 out of 5

(4 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Swift Creek

Part of the scenic Pacific Northwest Trail, Swift Creek Trail accesses the Mount Baker Wilderness.

True to its name, this trail features challenging travel cross large and frequently swollen glacier-fed streams, with welcome respites on sections that meander through old-growth forest.

Swift Creek is minimally maintained and may require some route finding, especially through the dense vegetation of steep avalanche slopes. There are no bridges across Rainbow Creek or Swift Creek, so stream fording may be unsafe much of the year -- wait for late summer and the lower water that comes with that season.

From the parking area on Forest Road 1144, hike a quarter mile down the abandoned road turned trail and look for a trail on the left side of the road.

The eight mile trail ends at the extremely popular Lake Ann trail and Heather Meadows beyond.

WTA worked here in 2021, 2020, 2014 and 2013!

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Swift Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.7648, -121.6699 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

To access Swift Creek from the south end: From the Mount Baker Ranger District office in Sedro-Woolley, follow State Route 20 east for 16 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway. Continue 17.7 miles to FR 1130 and turn left. Follow this road for four miles. Turn right and follow FR 1144 to its end. Hike approximately a quarter mile downhill on closed FR 1144 to the trailhead on the left.

It is also possible to access the Swift Creek trail from Lake Ann trail. The junction is 2.3 miles down the trail. However, a Northwest Forest Pass is required here, and this parking lot tends to fill quickly.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area

Swift Creek (#607)

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

Guidebooks & Maps

Forest Service Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness

USGS Shuksan Arm

Buy the Green Trails Mt. Shuksan No. 14 map

Buy the Green Trails Mount Baker Climbing No. 13SX map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Swift Creek

25 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports