We really didn’t need to hike another trail. We’d already hike most of the best-of-the-best around the Mt. Baker Highway, including Ptarmigan Ridge, Heliotrope Divide, Artist Ridge, and Skyline Divide. Still, it was supposed to be rainy in North Cascades National Park (which it was) so we needed a half a day of adventuring before heading south. So, for lack of information about a better short trail to hike, we walked about 2.75 miles down the Lake Ann Trail, which brought us to Swift Creek. I won’t call it the most scenic of the trails around Mt. Baker (hardly!), but it had enough interesting photo opportunities that I thought I’d share them with you all. Enjoy!
Round Trip Trail Length: 5.5 miles (round trip to Lake Ann – which I hear has very good views of Mt. Shuksan – is 8.2 miles)
Highest Elevation (trailhead): 4,751 ft.
Lowest Elevation (Swift Creek Trail Junction): 3,922 ft.
Net Elevation Gain / Loss: 829 ft.
Fees: $5/day (must purchase daily pass at the visitor center in Glacier – the machine is open 24 hours during the summer). Alternatively, America the Beautiful (Interagency), Senior (Golden Age), Access (Golden Access), Volunteer, Military, and Northwest Forest Service Annual Passes can be displayed. Per the park ranger, leaving your pass number in your windshield is not acceptable and the area is frequented by park rangers who ticket vehicles without passes in their windows (and I’d say frequented isn’t strong enough – there are park rangers poking their flashlights in our windshield even in the middle of the night!) Apparently pass theft isn’t a problem here (we left ours in the window for about a week and never had an issue). Discovery Passes not accepted!
Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this?
Key GPS Coordiantes
Lake Ann Parking: 48.85003N / -121.68628W (48° 51′ 0.1074″ / -121° 41′ 10.6074″) (4,657ft.)
Trail beginning: 48.84996N / -121.68599W (48° 50′ 59.856″ / -121° 41′ 9.564″) (4,751ft.)
Enter Mount Baker Wilderness: 48.84728N / -121.68014W (48° 50′ 50.2074″ / -121° 40′ 48.5034″) (4,307ft.)
Swift Creek Trail Junction: 48.83366N / -121.65742W (48° 50′ 1.176″ / -121° 39′ 26.712″) (3,922ft.)
The gpx file for the Lake Ann Trail to Swift Creek can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.
GPX Download File size: 121.4 KB Downloaded 30 times
(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website. Thanks!)
Getting to the Lake Ann Trailhead
From the ranger station in Glacier, WA, drive east on the Mt. Baker Highway (WA-542 E). Take this paved, white-knuckle-inducing road 23 miles to the Lake Ann Trailhead, on left. Artist Point is about a mile beyond the trailhead.
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Sat Oct 21
Snow. Lows overnight in the low 30s.
Sun Oct 22
Snow during the morning will mix with rain at times during the afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds WSW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precip 80%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Mon Oct 23
Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 39F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Tue Oct 24
Partly cloudy. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Wed Oct 25
Rain and snow in the morning changing to all rain in the afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 100%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.