Chain Lakes Loop Trail is a great hike in the Mount Baker Region! It is a 6 mile loop hike and traverses through Mountain passes, lakes, rivers and more. It is so beautiful! It is one of my favorite hikes in the area!
The Chain Lakes Loop Trail can start at multiple points. I started at Artist Point which is the last stop on the main road, Mount Baker Highway, 542. It is the highest point on the road. I went counter-clockwise which I heard is the best way to go and after doing it myself, I agree.
If you were to just google chain lakes loop trail on your phone or GPS, it takes you to the wrong spot! I drove around all over the place in the wrong direction! When you put this place into google maps or wherever, write Artist Point. Then it will be accurate.
The trail is kind of difficult to follow at this one section. This loop is not just the Chain Lakes Loop. You have to follow a couple other trails to complete the loop. When you get to the tail head, there is a map. Take a picture of this map and you will be fine.
This hike is very beautiful and gorgeous! At first, if you start at Artist Point and go counter-clockwise, you will be descending down-hill. There is no marked trail head. At the parking lot, there are a couple of other trails up there and these are marked.
You can always order a Topo for the area your hiking in as well. This hike may or may not be on this exact Topo. I didn’t purchase this.
This trail starts right at the bathrooms on the right-hand side of it. Basically if you walk behind the bathrooms, you will see a road. You need to go down to this road, cross it and you will for sure see a trail at this point. There will be these pyramid of rocks to mark the trail.
This section is the hardest to follow, and that’s why I think it’s smart to knock it out first. It doesn’t last long. Before you know it, you will be on the Chain Lakes Trail and its literally vista after vista and from here the trail is pretty distinctive.
The only problem you may have is I was hiking in the middle of the summer and the snow still hid some of the trail, but it’s pretty easy to find your way. You’ll be able to see someone else’s footprints in the snow that will show you the way to go. If you go early, make sure you bring crampons and an ice-axe. Another option is to get Yaktrax. This option allows you to get a little more traction than boots, but is not as extreme as wearing crampons.
When you are driving up the road to get to Artist Point, the last stop on the road, you will be passing other parking areas/trail heads. There are multiple hikes around this area. Pretty much all smaller and easier ones.
Definitely a great place to hike! I completely recommend it! Hope you enjoy and stay safe out there!