Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Baker River Trail, Autumn

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 16 November 2015
Location: North Cascades Region, Mt. Baker Area
Roundtrip: 5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 300  feet
Highest Point: 900   feet
Season: Year round, but in winter the trailhead may be hard to reach due to the snow drifts.
GPS Coordinates: N 48 45.004 W 121 33.358
Visitor’s Information:

Recreation Pass Required at Trailhead.
Backcountry Permit Required for Overnight Stays.
Washington State fishing license required for fishing in Baker River.

Pictures below will take you along a marvelous trail providing the views of Baker River. Enjoy the beauty of autumn scenery!

Photo of the Baker River Trail, taken in autumn, North Cascades Region
General Information:

If you are looking for a perfect family day-hike, which will carry you away from the noise and prosaic details of everyday life, and which will immerse you into the pristine nature, providing with strength and inspiration for the further achievements – the Baker River Trail is just the best option for you. 

Albert Camus once said that autumn is the second spring, when each colorful leaf is a flower. And we consider autumn to be the best season for hiking the Baker River Trail, a season, when you may see the area “in full blossom”.

The trailhead with quite a large parking lot, information stand and a vault toilet gives a start to two trails: the Baker River Trail # 606 and the Baker Lake Trail # 610. First 0,5 miles of the way, until branching before the Baker Lake Trail crosses a suspension bridge, they run together through a dense old-growth forest, passing beautiful cedar groves, huge impressive boulders, covered by green moss, and providing the hikers with some glimpse of Baker River.  

Photo of the Baker River Trail, taken in autumn, North Cascades Region

At the trail junction you should take the left turn and continue following the trail as it meanders through the forest along the river’s west edge. 

The huge skyward trees along the trail, with their trunks and branches covered by moss remind some alien creatures or some fairy-tale giants, guarding the river’s serenity and solitude of the surrounding area. 

Photo of the Baker River Trail, taken in autumn, North Cascades Region

Running now through admirable lowland with alder forest, the trail allows you to admire some mountain vistas of Hagan Mountain across the river, as well as the views of the beautiful river itself with its gravel banks. In autumn you can see some salmon splashing in the river waters, as its time for it to spawn.

The trail further ascends a little, running along a slope through the huge stunning cedar trees surrounding the hikers. In approximately one mile the trail reaches the North Cascades National Park. Do not forget, that even leashed dogs are not permitted at the territory of the National Park. 

The trail crosses several streams and outwashes with silt and gravel, created by a deluge in 2006 with a wooden footbridge made over the biggest outwash. 

Photo of the Baker River Trail, taken in autumn, North Cascades Region

Continuing to wind through the National Park the Baker River Trail ends at Sulphide Camp, located near the Sulphide Creek. If the water level allows you, try to reach the rocky bed of the Sulphide Creek, which will reward you with a fascinating view of gorgeous Mount Shuksan. 


These pictures were taken in October, 2015

Driving Directions:

If you are traveling from Burlington (Exit 230 on I-5), you should drive about 23 miles on State Road 20 (North Cascades Hwy), then turn left to the Baker Lake Road (the turn is located between the mileposts 82 and 83). After a 26 miles drive the Baker Lake Road will bring you to the Baker River Trailhead (which is at the end of the road).

GPS Coordinates: N 48 45.004 W 121 33.358

In order to get directions click on the map below:


Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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