The Hiker Mama

Blue Lake (Mt. Baker)

Distance: 1.8 miles RT

Elevation Gain: 240 ft

Season: Summer into early fall

Maps: Green Trails No. 45 Hamilton

Description: A short but beautiful hike through mature forest leads to a gorgeous lake surrounded by sheer cliffs. The water is clear and colorful, inviting a swim on a warm day. This trail is just rugged enough to be interesting, but still doable for young children. You’ll appreciate trekking poles for this one. In the fall, bring a container to pick yummy wild blueberries. There are a couple of sweet campsites for those who want to overnight.

Directions: From Seattle, drive I-5 north to Burlington, and take the exit for Hwy 20 eastbound. Stay on Hwy 20 through Sedro-Woolley and beyond; around 22.5 miles from the freeway, look for signs for Baker Lake Road to the left. Turn left onto Baker Lake Road, and drive for about 12 miles. Cross over Rocky Creek Bridge, and look for the road off to the left, FR 12, signed for the Mt. Baker Rec. Area, Blue Lake, and other destinations. This road is gravel and very potholed, so use caution as you drive about 6.7 miles to the junction with FR 1203. (Stay straight at the junction with FR 13). Turn left onto FR 1203, following signs for Blue Lake, and stay on this main road for 3.6 miles. This road is narrow on places, with blind curves, so please drive cautiously in case you meet an oncoming car. The road ends at the trailhead, and there is parking for several cars, as well as a vault toilet.  You’ll need your NW Forest Pass to park.

Links: Read our trip report, or visit the WTA site to determine current conditions.