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Baker Lake I

Backcountry Response Team

Mon May 8, 2023 8:30 AM — Thu May 11, 2023 3:30 PM

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North Cascades — Mount Baker Area

Features: Earn Northwest Forest Pass

Crew Leader: Michael Bellis

Baker Lake from Maple Grove. Photo by Stephen


Join WTA for four days as we work on improving the popular Baker Lake Trail as part of our Trails Rebooted campaign!

Wake to the sounds of loons on the lake and views of pristine Mount Baker from the east side of the lake. Unlike in years past we will not be boating into camp - we will be hiking 3.6 miles to Maple Grove camp and working from that camp to log out and complete trail maintenance.

About the Area

Because of its low elevation and level grade, the Baker Lake Trail makes a wonderful hike year round. Stands of giant old-growth timber are a highlight along this trail, which begins in a majestic stand of Douglas-fir tress that grew up following an 1843 forest fire caused by a small eruption of Mount Baker.

The trail contours above the eastern shoreline of Baker Lake for 14.5 miles, offering glimpses of Mount Baker with the lake in the foreground. Campsites dot the trail, which sees year-round foot traffic from trail runners, backpackers and hikers alike.

What to Expect

We'll have fun, work hard and make a difference!

Project Description

The Baker Lake trail is popular and needs a variety of maintenance to keep it welcoming to hikers. We may cut logs in the trail to clear the path, prune back overgrown vegetation, rebuild or repair impacted wooden walkways, or dig new paths for water to flow off the trail.

We may also restore the tread. This involves digging the trail surface to the proper width and slope as well as removing organic material or protruding rocks and roots.

Camping and Hiking Information

  • Type: Backcountry base camp
  • Location: Maple Grove camp
  • Weather: Be prepared for variable conditions including heat, cold, wind and rain
  • Other: Camp facilities include pit toilets and bear boxes. While there is plenty of room for the crew, we will try and save some space for passing hikers to camp as well
  • Initial hike to camp: 3.6 miles over rolling terrain to Maple Grove campground with your backpack fully loaded with all provisions including camping gear and food, plus WTA-provided tools.
  • Expected daily hike to project: 3-5 miles roundtrip with 500 feet of gain at a moderate pace


  • Day 1: Meet the crew rain or shine, then hike in, begin work on the project and set up camp
  • Day 2+: Make breakfast and pack a lunch before heading out on trail with the crew by 8:00 AM. Work at your own pace, take plenty of breaks and enjoy lunch on the trail. Arrive back in camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. Prepare your own dinner and swap stories with the crew.
  • Final Day: Break down camp, finish trail project, hike out and say goodbye to the crew at the trailhead

For safety reasons, arriving late or leaving early is not allowed.

Planning Information

Get ready for a challenging backcountry adventure!

What it Takes to Do This Work Party

  • A great attitude for working with a team! WTA provides the training and tools you need for the project
  • Backpacking gear and food for multiple nights on the trail
  • Good physical condition to be physically active for about 8-9 hours daily on uneven terrain 
  • Backpacking experience including ability to run your own camp following Leave No Trace principles
  • Day work party experience recommended
  • Flexibility to adapt to changes due to unpredictable weather or land manager requests
  • Minimum age: 18

What to Bring

Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate hiking clothes and your boots for our hike to camp.

Backpacking gear

  • Backpack to carry all of your gear
  • Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Cooking gear and enough food (plus a little extra) for the entire trip
  • At least two 1-liter water bottles and a way to purify your water
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Camp clothing such as shorts, shirt and sandals
  • Sun and bug protection
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Personal items such as medication, hand sanitizer and toiletries
  • ​First aid kit
  • A sense of fun and adventure for learning new skills and meeting great people!

Trail work gear

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended such as safety glasses
  • WTA hard hat (provided, unless you have one)

For safety reasons, shorts and sneakers are not allowed while working. Firearms and weapons are not allowed.

More Information

From the Hiking Guide

See what WTA's hiking guide and trip reports say about this area.

A My Backpack account is required. You will be asked to register or log in before you can join.

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From the Mt. Baker Ranger District office in Sedro-Woolley, WA follow State Route 20 east for 16 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway (Forest Service Road 11). Continue for 14 miles to the Baker Dam Road and turn right. Drive past the Puget Sound Energy Kulshan Campground and across the Upper Baker Dam. After crossing the dam, turn left on FS Road 1107. Follow road 1107 for 1 mile and look for the trailhead and parking area on the left side of the road.

Note: Please follow the written directions above instead of using a GPS device. This will ensure that you get to the correct meeting location for this work party. The location of the pinpoint below is only approximate.

Getting to WTA work parties can involve travel on rough, unpaved roads in areas without cellular service and without street addresses that can be accurately used by navigation devices. Unless specifically noted otherwise, routes can generally be traveled by all types of vehicles. Volunteers with limited experience driving on unpaved mountain roads may want to allow extra time, beyond what is recommended in the directions above, to get to the meeting location.

Required Documentation

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