Beginning at Austin Pass, the Lake Ann Trail enters the Mount Baker Wilderness as it switchbacks down into the headwaters of the Swift Creek Drainage. Bordered by Shuksan Arm to the north and Artist Ridge to the south, you will travel through meadows and wooded areas. Approximately 2.5 miles from the trailhead is a signed junction with Swift Creek Trail #607.
As you begin to climb out of the Swift Creek drainage through heather, talus slopes and subalpine forest, Mt. Baker comes into view. You will reach a saddle above Lake Ann. Dropping down toward the lake, you will encounter an unsigned junction. The left fork leads to the popular Fisher Chimneys route for climbers attempting to summit Mt. Shuksan. The right fork leads to lakeside campsites.
Lake Ann hikers are rewarded with up-close views of Mt. Shuksan and its Lower and Upper Curtis Glaciers. Listen for the thunderous roar that means a chunk of ice has broken off one of the glaciers and is tumbling down the rock face.
Travel east to the end of Mt. Baker Highway SR 542. It is approximately 23 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center to the Lake Ann trailhead and parking lot. The parking lot is located on the left (east) side of SR 542 one mile before Artist Point.
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Posted By: Jenk
- Sat Nov 05 17:45:03 UTC 2016
UpsideAbsolutely eye candy! Variety of terrian DownsideNothing CommentTo get there, we went through the Sumas boarder and simply followed the Mt. Baker signs. We parked at the Bagley lake Trailhead parking lot as the road is closed from there onward. The trailhead we started at was approx 20 mins up the road to the right. You'll see a parking lot and to the left of it, a trailhead takes off up through a scenic route. A bit elevated. You can't miss it. We preferred it to continuing further up the road way. It was a bit icy and covered with snow. Microspikes would have been helpful here and although we had them with us, we decided to manage without them, as we understood it would eventually lead us up to the road again. We had a little help from a friendly lady we met along the way who was just taking a short jaunt to take some photos. A local.
Directly accross the street from where we came from, that trail, is your trailhead to Lake Ann. Careful! SUPER slippery. The road was like a sheet of ice. But the trail to Lake Ann ventures downwards so... eventually, the conditions improve and microspikes were not needed.
You'll travel down a lot of switchbacks before it opens up into a meadow like setting.
I was really surprised to see blueberries still when nearing Lake Ann. Quite a lot of them actually. Amazing for November. We also saw a cute little pika which we heard them sweat throughout our entire venture.
What the terrains offered is amazing. Never boring. You cross many creeks, a few mud patches, a boulder field, (which I might add was more difficult on my body than I thought, looked so easy :) but it's long...easy to nav through though as there is a path)...and the entire route is surrounded by the most breathtaking views! You're also greeted by the sounds of trickling waterfalls and streams around practically every corner. I would imagine in the summer this place is riddled with flowers.
We were the only ones on the trail the entire trek up. Not a soul until our way back. A solo hiker who offered other great trails for us to return to explore.
Once you reach Lake Ann you are rewarded with up close views of Mt. Shuksan and its Lower and Upper Curtis Glaciers. I actually was more taken by the mountains more than anything. This place is absolutely eye candy! :)