Baker Lake Road
Baker Lake offers lots of things to do. Boating, fishing, camping, trail riding, hiking, nature viewing, mountain climbing, and in winter there’s snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. On clear sunny days the views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan can be spectacular and the surrounding forested mountains frame the lake in a wilderness setting.
The paved Baker Lake Highway parallels the west shore of the 9-mile lake and provides access to lake-side campgrounds. Most campgrounds offer a boat ramp, lake views and established campsites. On the mountainside of the Highway a network of forest roads lead to high alpine settings of pristine beauty and often rugged trails such as Schriebers Meadow. Popular approaches to technical climbs of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan begin on some of these trails. There is also a boardwalk accessible interpretive trail titled "Shadow of the Sentinels." You can follow signboards for a self-guided tour that explains the ecology of the old-growth forest.
A side-road across the Baker Dam leads to the undeveloped eastside of the lake. The 14-mile (one-way) Baker Lake trail travels through forest along the east shore and is the only access for the Maple Grove Camp. Further up this side-road (when snow melt allows) are the trailheads for Anderson Butte, and Watson and Anderson Lakes.
Near the end of the paved road, back on the west side of the lake, is Mt. Baker Resort. Services include a group lodge, cabins, boat rentals, camping, and a small store. Check with resort operators for specific services and dates provided (888-711-3033).
Nearby forest roads will take you to a viewpoint where you can see Rainbow Falls. Along the way you will pass a roadside parking area that marks the unofficial location of the Baker Hot Spring. A short trail leads to the sulfur scented milky blue/green water which some people claim is therapeutic. The temperature is not very hot but this can be relative especially after a cold winter ski approach. The highway becomes a gravel road that ends at the Baker River. A short trail leads upstream to the new rod & stay bridge (looks like a suspension bridge). You can cross the bridge and take the 14 mile Baker Lake Trail back to the Dam or continue on a few miles on an increasingly rugged trail to Sulphur Creek.
The popularity of this area especially during the summer and holidays makes it a good idea to have reservations if staying at a campground. Currently you can make reservations by calling 877-444-6777 or 800-425-5687.
So whether summer boating or winter skiing - visit this area for a close look at the North Cascades.
From the Forest Ranger Office on Highway 20 in Sedro Woolly, go east 15 miles. Just past milepost 84, turn left and head north on the Baker Lake Highway.
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San Juan Islands