CHS 1 Hike - Ptarmigan Ridge

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Ptarmigan Ridge

CHS 1 GRADUATION HIKE. Participants must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Two of Washington's 100 Classic hikes are on this hike! We will follow along windswept Ptarmigan Ridge with its glorious views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan and visit scenic alpine lakes on the Chain Lakes loop with Mt Baker and Mt Shuskan in the background.

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.
  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 15.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,250 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

Current plan is to  meet at the Artist Point Parking lot (end of WA Rte 542) at 7:30 AM and to start hiking about 7:45 AM.  A NW Forest Pass is needed to park there.

Note that it is   a 3 hour drive from downtown Seattle to Artist Point so you might consider staying at a closer campground, hotel, or Airbnb.

Sunset is at about 7:30 PM so while we expect to complete the hike before then, please come prepared with a headlamp and good batteries.  Poles are strongly recommended because of  rockiness of the trail, steep descents, the total elevation gain, and the chance of hiking using a headlamp.  There are three snow patches of 20 to 50 feet to cross, but almost all hikers seen on the pre-hike were crossing them without traction devices.

Because we are hiking in a fragile alpine area, you must use a privy or pack out (not bury) human waste.  There are 4 privies on the Chain Lakes Loop but none on the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail so bringing a blue bag (available from most hiking outfitters) is suggested. 


Ptarmigan Ridge

  • Green Trails Mt Baker No. 13

    USGS Mt Baker

    Green Trails Mt Shuksan No. 14

    Green Trails Mount Baker Wilderness Climbing No. 13SX

    USGS Shuksan Arm
  • See full route/place details.
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)
Trip Reports