CHS 1 Hike - Chain Lakes Loop

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Chain Lakes Loop

CHS1 Graduation Hike! Sparkling alpine lakes, an abundance of wildflowers, and an impressive mountainous backdrop featuring Baker & Shuksan? Yes please! We'll also hike to Lake Ann via Heather Meadows for close-up views of the Lower Curtis Glacier.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,700 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

UPDATED Fri 9/21:   We will be starting the hike at the Mountaineers Baker Lodge at 7:30am (& hiking back to the Baker Lodge for lunch prior to the afternoon hike to Lake Ann), since all participants are staying overnight at the Lodge.   We will NOT be driving to Austin pass.


[Originally posted]

We will have an early 7:30am start at the Austin Pass Picnic Area (next to the Heather Meadows visitor center: restrooms available) given the now-shorter days. 

 Heather Meadows is a 3.5-hour type drive from Seattle.   I recommend you stay somewhere in the Bellingham or Glacier area Friday night (& perhaps Saturday night as well) to have a more enjoyable 16-mile graduation hike experience.    I myself will be staying at the SpringHill Suites in Bellingham both Friday and Saturday night.   (The SpringHill does have a couple of rooms available if you are interested.)    Other good options include the Comfort Inn in Bellingham and the Blue T Lodge in Glacier.     For those of us staying in Bellingham, we will meet at the SpringHill Suites (4040 NorthWest Avenue, Bellingham) at 5:45 am on Saturday.   For those of us that need to travel from Seattle the morning of, however, the official meeting place/time for carpools will be the Ash Way Park & Ride in Lynnwood (northeast corner of this large parking lot, closest to I-5) at 4:30am.  

The plan is to keep a moderate CHS1 pace (~1.8mi/hr uphill), though may adjust based on actual conditions. 

The weather at this time of year can be unpredictable, and the current forecast for Saturday calls for some showers.   Hiking this same trail three years ago in late September, we experienced a dusting of snow – not surprising for an area that has held claim for being the snowiest place on earth!    Please bring the 10 essentials, with a particular emphasis on rain gear/cold-weather gear so that we’re fully prepared for the elements.   (You may want to stash some extra warm wear in the car for the return or for the afternoon portion of the hike.)


Bagley & Chain Lakes

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
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