Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes Road
(360) 856-5700


Photo Credit: Jamie Heeringa
Twin Lakes provides a beautiful setting of alpine lakes, surrounded by mountain peaks, an historic fire-watch lookout, hiking trails, abandoned and active gold mines as well as wildlife that includes marmots, bears, and goats.

The flagpole of Historic Winchester Fire Lookout can be seen to the west directly above the Lake, especially when the American Flag is hoisted high. This building is maintained by the Mount Baker Hiking Club and is open to the public on a first-come basis free of charge but is supported by donations. To the northwest, the trail to Low and High Passes bring the Hiker to the very base of Mt. Larrabee and the Pleiades Peaks. Below High Pass the sites of the Gargett Brothers mines can still be found. The gated road to the northeast from the Lakes, leads both to the Silesia Creek trailhead and the still active Lone Jack gold mine on the slope of Goat Mountain.

The existence of a road to the very shore of these remote lakes has long been a contention between groups seeking vehicle access and those wanting to preserve the wilderness setting. Regardless of this issue, the 3 mile section of road between the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and Twin Lakes is probably the worst public road in Whatcom County. Boulders, washouts, narrow roadbed and hairpins, make the difficulty of this road legendary. It is common for hikers with passenger vehicles to park at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and hike the remaining 3 miles rather than damage their vehicles in an attempt to reach the lake.

So if you have an interest in historic lookouts, gold mines, wildlife, flowers, or the beauty of alpine lakes, then pull on your hiking boots, or find a friend with a 4-wheel drive and find out why so many people think the trip to Twin Lakes is worth a little extra bother.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 9/19/2001


Drive the Mt. Baker Hwy (542) about 41 miles east of Bellingham to Twin Lakes Road, just after the Highway Maintenance sheds. Continue about 4-1/2 miles to the Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead; rugged 4-wheel-high-clearance vehicles may be able to proceed to road end at 7 miles.


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