The Best and Most Beautiful Spring Hikes in Mt. Baker
Mt. Baker offers outdoor enthusiasts a spectacular experience all year round and with spring creeping up on us, we are so excited to tell you about the best and most beautiful hikes in Mt. Baker in this season. The sheer size and magnitude of Mt. Baker means that there are so many options of where you can hike, so we’ve compiled a summary of some of the ones that we think can’t be missed in spring. If you’re looking for a leisurely and peaceful hike or a real challenge, we’ve got it here for you, so read on and start planning your hiking excursion on and around this mesmerizing and natural pinnacle that is Mt. Baker.
An introduction to hiking on the Picture Lake trail
Not everyone realizes that hiking can be accessible for a whole family and that it has no age limit, so we’re happy to spread the word that that if you have a family, this is one activity that you should consider doing. Mt. Baker has the Picture Lake trail that really is fitting for everybody. The Picture Lake trail hike is only 0.5 miles long and the highest elevation point is 4,200 feet. The hike is on a paved loop which means that is accessible to those with strollers and wheelchairs too. When winter passes and spring arrives, the Picture Lake trail is spectacular with the full reflection of Mt. Shuksan into the lake, which makes for an absolutely gorgeous photograph. This spot is one of the most photographed places in Washington and clearly with very good reason.
A shorter but more challenging hiking experience on the Winchester Mountain trail
If you want to build your stamina but are short for time, then the Winchester Mountain Trail is undeniably the best hiking experience for you in spring. The trail is only 3.2 miles long but your heart will be beating pretty hard as you make your way through the route. With an elevation of 5,200 feet at the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Best of all, there is a 1935 fire lookout, maintained by the Mt. Baker Hiking Club and is open for overnight use for free. However, access to and staying in the fire lookout is on a first-come-first-serve basis so it can be difficult secure your spot. It’s rumoured to be one of the most magical places on earth to rest and take in the surrounding beauty. If you’re thinking about doing a hike with your partner, then we believe that this trail is perfect for you as you will have to work together in completing it and will be able to enjoy the fantastic views from the top.
Splash through streams on the leisurely Baker River trail
The Baker River trail adds a little bit more length in its duration as it is a 5.2 miles hiking experience. The trail starts as a flat trail and has enough space for two to three people to walk next to each other. Whilst the Baker River trail has little elevation, it is still incredibly unique as it offers the most stunning views of the Baker River, the surrounding rain forests and the sensational cascade mountain range. What really makes this trail memorable, in our view, is the 1990’s suspension bridge that you can see and the opportunity to dip your feet in the more shallow river streams when you’re crossing from one part of another. The Baker River trail has a reputation for ensuring that hikers see wildlife in spring, so if you want to connect with nature in every way, this has to be a must-do for your spring hiking. If you are looking for a longer trail, then you should consider the East Bank Baker Lake route which is a distance of 9 miles and covers the same route as the Baker River trail plus more.
A combination of good distance and elevation on the Lake Ann (Mount Baker Highway) trail
The Lake Ann (Mount Baker Highway) trail is an 8.2 mile route with an elevation of 2575 feet and offers everything that a seasoned hiker would adore. The hike, whilst being challenging, is full of scenic views at every single turn. It has to be one of mother nature’s finest. Lake Ann is nestled between 2 ridges that are covered in wildflowers. Stop at this spot in spring and have a picnic at this little piece of heaven on earth. Be captivated by the wilderness and catch peek-a-boo glimpses of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, then this hike will definitely be one for the memory bank. A camera is a must on this trek because of the beautiful colours that spring brings; the stunning blue sky and fluffy white clouds, the bursting green grass and the blanket of colourful wildflowers make for an unforgettable moment.
South Baker Lake trail
The South Baker Trail covers 8.4 miles in distance and can accommodate most types of hikers because of its low level of elevation. The beauty of this trail has to be at 1.5 miles as you cross the Anderson Creek, which is covered by a magnificent fallen tree that acts as your footbridge; it is complete with handrails to guide you across and has to be a notable feature of this hike. There are also plenty of other features on this trail that make it stand out, such as the old-growth forest that you will walk through and the panoramic views and sensational alpine scenery that will be in your direct vision. You will also pass a captivating rocky waterfall on your journey. Whilst the South Baker Lake trail is a popular route, you will still find some solitude and peace during certain parts of your journey as it is one of the longer routes.
Hiking around and on Mt. Baker is a must do for all hiking newbies and fanatics. The trails have mind-blowing views and spring is a great season to complete a hike here due to the temperature and the beauty that will surround you. Whether you’re looking for a hike to do with your family, friends or partner, Mt. Baker has so many trails to pick from and we would recommend that you enjoy one of the ones that we’ve mentioned here in spring time. We suggest that you stay overnight at one of Mt. Baker’s warm and welcoming lodges during your trip so that you can really embrace Mt. Baker for everything that it has to offer. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101.
-Neil Kleise / Trip101
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