Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Table Mountain

Table Mountain

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area
48.8468, -121.6926 Map & Directions
Length
2.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
725 feet
Highest Point
5700 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
Mount Shuksan from Table Mountain. Photo by Ken Giesbers. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs not allowed

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Table Mountain trail offers a variety of nice views, and opportunities to get away from the parking lot crowds at Artist Point. But heed the cautions before you set out. Continue reading

Rating
4.46 out of 5

(13 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Table Mountain

Important: Because of the steep and challenging terrain, pets are not allowed and the trail is not recommended for small children. If you want to know why, simply look up from the trailhead sign. Yes, the trail scales the face of that rocky knob directly in front of you. In any conditions, the trail can be treacherous, due to snow, ice, or loose gravel. Make sure you have appropriate footwear and exercise due caution. Acrophobes will not appreciate this trail.

From the northwest corner of the large parking lot at Artist Point, start out on the upper trail, Table Mountain.

The trail begins as a rock-lined gravel path and soon encounters its first switchback. It winds through interesting rock formations on its way to the rock that is Table Mountain, then begins ascending in earnest. When you have gained 400 feet to achieve the top of the rock, there is a short side trail to the right that provides an outstanding view overlooking Heather Meadows and its scenic lakes.

Continue along the south side of the relatively level “table” top. There are numerous branches of trails, but the main trail generally follows the south rim, providing views steeply down on the Chain Lakes Trail and the Swift Creek drainage. At 1.2 miles, reach the east side of the Table for views of Mount Baker, Ptarmigan Ridge, and the Chain Lakes Trail, 400 to 800 feet below.

The trail continues north to a point 1.3 miles from the trailhead, where two small tarns provide a scenic foreground for views of Mount Shuksan. The trail heading northward from the tarns is just a scramble trail that allows a sketchy descent onto the Table Mountain Glacier, then drops steeply to connect with the Chain Lakes trail over 700 feet below. Skip it. From the tarns, return the way you came.

Note: There is no camping allowed on this trail between May 15 and November 14. 

Hike Description Written by
Ken Giesbers, WTA Correspondent

Table Mountain

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.8468, -121.6926 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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

From I-5 exit 255, go east 34 miles on SR 542 to the town of Glacier. Public restrooms are available here, and the Glacier Public Service Center can provide current information on conditions. Continue another 24 miles to the end of SR 542 at Artist Point, elevation 5075 feet. The large parking lot has room for about 160 vehicles, including RVs and buses. There are vault toilets and bearproof garbage cans but no water.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area

Table Mountain (#681)

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

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Download a map to plan your hike

Buy the Green Trails Mt. Shuksan No. 14 map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Table Mountain

152 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports