Distance from Vancouver: 2 hours via Suma Crossing (speediest way)
Mount Baker is located just south of the border, approximately 50km east of Bellingham, Washington. It is an active volcano in the North Cascades range and has a ski area for those interested.
STOP #1: Wake N' Bakery
I don't have any professionally taken photographs here, but this cafe is a perfect lunch stop on your way to Mount Baker. Eclectic and hipster in vibe, they have a wide selection of quiches, baked goods and cookies for under $10. My mom and I had a really light and fluffy asparagus quiche ($5.50), recommended. My parents tried the coffee and recommended it.
STOP #2: Chain Lakes Loop Trail
- Hiking poles are highly recommended as parts of the trail involve traversing through snow. (We had to turn back because we did not want to risk sliding downhill in the snow).
- Bring sandals or water shoes if you would like to go swimming or dip your feet into the lakes
Credits: Washington Trails Association website
Once you arrive at the Artist Point parking lot, walk across it to the well-signed "Chain Lakes" trail below Table Mountain rising to the right. The drive up here is amazing and the fresh air will set your mind at ease.
This is one of the top-rated hikes in the area with sweeping views of Mount Baker and Shuksan, as well as the North Cascades, alpines lakes for swimming and well-maintained trails.
This is a loop hike accessible from 3 different parking lots, and there are many options for this adventure.
From the Artist Point parking lot, hike counter-clockwise. This direction means you will hit the high point of the loop on sturdy legs and allows you to enjoy the lake and open air alpine scenery. As you descend, pause to admire Bagley Lakes below and view Chain Lakes trail cutting across the hillside between Table Mountain and Mount Herman. We had to stop before descending the snowy section as we would slide down otherwise.
STOP #3: Artist Point
At more than 5,000 feet above sea level, this area is typically buried under snow and closed October through June. During summer, Artist Point offers a gorgeous panoramic view of Mount Baker, Mount Shukshan and Table Mountain. There is even a small trail to navigate the area and plenty of picture-perfect spots. Walk the trail and revel in the natural wonders of the beautiful mountainous landscape.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences baking it in Mount Baker, feel free to leave comments!