Summary: If you park at Austin Pass, take the Bagley Lakes trail down to the lakes. Cross the stone bridge and stay left. The trail travels around the lake and up through the bowl. When I went in late July, there was still plenty of snow in this bowl, and it was fairly easy to lose the trail. You'll get to a ridge with tremendous views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. Drop down to Iceberg Lake (yes, there were Icebergs), which is an incredible shade of blue-green. Again, I had trouble finding the trail in the snow, but you'll want to head for the right side of the lake. You will hit trail eventually. The trail takes you behind Iceberg Lake, then curves back. You are now heading towards Artist's Point. You'll skirt Table mountain. Once at the parking lot, follow the Wild Goose Trail to get you back to your car. I found this by walking a short way down the road to a gravel parking lot and finding a big rock cairn with a wild goose on it.
Trailhead: Take Highway 542 (Mt. Baker Highway) from Bellingham to the end of the road (Mt. Baker Ski Area). Stay to the right at the large map. Park about halfway up to Artist's Point at the Austin Pass picnic area. You can also park at either Artist's Point or Bagley Lakes. If you park at Bagley Lakes, you'll add another mile to this trip (as well as lots of confusion). (Lat:48.854 Lon:-121.686)
Trail Guides for Chain Lakes Loop:
100 Hikes in Northern Cascades
by Ira Spring (The Mounaineers)
by Cathy Copeland (Wilderness)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: US Forest Service -- Mt. Baker Ranger District (360) 856-5700
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Marybeth Dingledy, who has posted 8 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by mk on 10/2/2012
Washington Trails Association website states 'dogs not allowed'. This needs to be answered correctly on your site & not just state your preferences.
Reviewed by NR on 8/31/2010
Error: Reserved Word Found: --
Reviewed by JM on 10/5/2009
Loved this trail, really beautiful. Also, tons of huckleberries at the end of September, eat'em or they'll freeze and rot 2 weeks later. Extremely scenic the whole way.
Reviewed by AFM on 9/21/2009
Great Views of Shuksan, Baker, and all the alpine lakes. All of the icebergs were gone for the season. We also hiked it in reverse starting at the visitor center - getting the Wild Goose trail climb out of the way first.
Reviewed by bryce on 8/15/2006
LOVE IT UP THERE!!! took some people who had never been there, and they were extatic! carried my daughter the whole way in the backpack carrier and was remarkably easy. little snowy spots, and melting chunks of ice look RAD! crystal-clear lakes look inviting, if not for their chilly temps. tranquility abounds, yet somewhat crowded at the top. would recommend this one to anyone!
Reviewed by MJC on 2/21/2006
Tiring but easy passage on all parts of this trail. Took more than 4 hours at good clip but with a few water/photo stops. Lots of friendly people on Artist's Point to Table Mountain section of trail. Fabulous scenery.
Reviewed by stanya on 9/30/2005
I prefer to do it in the opposite direction than described here: Park just before the up loop to Lake Ann trail and take the little trail & stairs to Artist Point- then go right and at the intersection drop to the valley, leading around the lakes, up the pass & then down. This way the unattractive part is over and you can enjoy the scenery.
Reviewed by Chuck on 10/5/2004
This is a beautiful, short hike (actually more like a vigorous walk). Fall is absolutely gorgeous with the changing colors. Do it mid-week unless you like malls during Christmas season. Million dollar views of Shuksan until you get to the first pass (elevation approximately 5,100 ft) and then beautiful alpine lakes and meadows with a big snowy Mt. Baker as an exclamation point. Start at Lower Wild Goose Trailhead to get the most bang for your buck and, although it can be done as a loop, I would suggest turning around and going back the way you came before ascending to Artist's Point (after the last of the lakes). The scenery is pretty much over by then and you really need "seconds" on this sumptuous trail.
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