CHS 1 Hike

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Chain Lakes Loop

This hike is led at a CHS 1 pace. This is a combination of Chain Lakes hike and Lake Ann hike.

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  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,600 ft

Most likely need to meet at 600 am at Cook Road Park and Ride in Burlington. From there it is 2 hours up to Mt Baker and Artist Point.

We will start with Chain Lakes - it gorgeous loop hike has it all: big views of Mounts Baker and Shuksan, as well as the North Cascades, alpine lakes for swimming, and well-maintained trail winding through meadows and heather.

From the Artist Point parking lot, hike counter-clockwise. This gets the steep, road-adjacent Wild Goose section out of the way by descending it first and then climbing up to Herman Saddle. Once we complete this loop then from the Artist Point parking lot, we will loop out to Lake Ann.
That trail begins just below Artist Point and is well marked from a paved parking lot. Start your hike by descending on switchbacks through sub-alpine forest. Soon you will reach a sign indicating you are entering the Mt. Baker Wilderness.

After entering the wilderness, the trail briefly opens up to a picturesque alpine basin. As you descend, the trail levels out and you hike through boulder fields, dried-up creek beds, meadows, wildflowers, and clear running streams. This area is part of the headwaters of Swift Creek. As you look ahead of you, you will see Mount Shuksan and your destination across the basin. On your left is Shuksan Arm.

Up to this point in the hike the trail can be rocky and root filled, but soon you will enter sub-alpine forest on an easy, level, and well maintained trail, catching peek-a-boo glimpses of Baker and Shuksan. The trail briefly breaks out into the open right before the Swift Creek trailhead. Here there is a privy available and you can see the unmaintained Swift Creek trail on your right. From this junction, you will start ascending, re-entering sub-alpine forest with views of Mount Baker.


Bagley & Chain Lakes

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essentials. Every trip. Every time. 

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