Lake Creek

An intermediate canyon flowing out of Shuksan Lake. A long day in a fun creek with great views. It's rated v4a3III at moderate-low water levels, and v4a4III in early to mid-season.


From I-5, take the exit for SR-20 East towards the North Cascades. In the town of Concrete, turn left (north) on Baker Lake Rd and follow it 26 miles until it ends at the Baker River Trail parking area. There is no gas once you leave Concrete, so be sure you have 50 miles worth of gas in your tank!


Follow the Baker River Trail for 2 miles. Just before you reach the bridge that crosses Lake Creek, veer off-trail into the woods, following the creek. Look for pink flagging tape. Once you reach the hill, the flagging tape follows a well-defined single track trail. Hike until about ~2,000 ft and begin traversing across the hillside towards the creek. You will need to cross several small gullies before reaching the canyon. Take special caution as you traverse.

Enter the canyon around ~2,050 ft. There is one small area where you can scramble into the creek bed.


This canyon utilizes many natural anchors that can be damaged/washed away each season. Any group going through should be prepared to inspect and rebuild all anchors.

  • Rappel 1: 100 feet from a log.
  • Rappel 2: 50 feet DCL (Down Canyon Left) from a double bolted anchor.
  • Rappel 3: 60 feet DCR (Down Canyon Right) from a rock pinch.
  • Rappel 4: 70 feet DCR from a single bolted anchor (2 stage low-angle rappel). The second stage has been done as a short slide.
  • Rappel 5: 40 feet DCR from a log. This rappel leads directly to a hanging pothole where Rappel 6 is located. Rappel 6 is an exposed anchor.
  • Rappel 6: 80 feet DCL from a double bolted anchor.
  • Rappel 7: 30 feet from a boulder in the creekbed.
  • Rappel 8: 10 feet. A partner-assisted downclimb. There are many anchors here to rig a quick line if needed.
  • Rappel 9: 25 feet DCL from a log or a careful downclimb.
  • Rappel 10: 60 feet DCR from a log two- stage rappel).
  • Rappel 11: 80 feet DCL form a double bolted anchor on large boulder. This anchor is exposed and awkward to reach. Use protection as needed.
  • Rappel 12: 40 feet DCR from a log.
  • Rappel 13: 20 feet DCL from a log.
  • Rappel 14: 60 feet DCR from a double bolted anchor.
  • Rappel 15: 25 feet from a logjam.

Rappel 16 and Rappel 17 make up the final and quite spectacular sequence of the canyon. R17 is quite exposed, so use caution.

  • Rappel 16: 60 feet from a logjam into a pothole. Carefully climb out of the pothole and stay on rope to reach the R17 anchor.
  • Rappel 17: 160 feet DCL from a double bolted anchor.


After the final rappel, walk downstream (either in the stream or in the woods along the stream) until the junction with the Baker River Trail, and walk the trail 2 miles back to the parking area.


Standard canyoning gear including webbing, a wrench and replacement quick links. 


  • Rappels: 16-18
  • Longest Rappel: 160 feet
  • Approach: ~ 3 miles
  • Exit: ~2.25 miles
  • Time: 9-12 hours total


  • This canyon is rated v4a3III at moderate-low water levels, and v4a4III in early to mid-season. 
  • For more information and recent trip reports from the community, visit the Lake Creek listing at ropewiki.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Canyon
  • Elevation Gain: 2,050 ft
  • Green Trails Mount Baker Wilderness Climbing No. 13SX
  • USGS Mt Shuksan
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