With the arrival of rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, hiking a trail named 1,000 Puddles Trail seemed most appropriate. This trail was a great choice as we were protected from the drizzle by the forest canopy. The trail meanders through land preserved by the Whatcom Land Trust and along the bank of South Fork of the Nooksack River.
The fall colors were beautiful and thousands of leaves blanketed our path.
The forest is thick and plush with moss covered trees forming beautiful arches.
Bringing aong the fishing gear, after a picnic along the shore of the scenic river, we took a fishing break.
While a majority of the 1,000 Puddles trail is on land preserved by the Whatcom Land Trust, a small portion passes through lands owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR); and as you can see, that area managed by the DNR had been recently clearcut.
Edfro Creek is one of the many creeks flowing into the South Fork of the Nooksack River, and a moss-covered log along the trail formed our bridge.
The hike to Lake Ann is somewhat challenging in that the lake itself is at about the same elevation as the trailhead, yet to reach the lake, one must hike approximately 1,900′ down, traverse through a valley and then climb back up approximately 1,900′ to the lake. It’s a beautiful hike though and the fall colors were absolutely right from the start!
After our long decent into the Swift Creek valley, our route leveled out near the junction for a trail that heads down to Baker Lake. There were several meandering creeks along that valley floor, but because our rainy season had not yet arrived, none were deep enough to soak our boots.
Finally we started climbing again, this time, over miles and miles of talus slopes.
Our view from the trail, always stunning and with penty of photo ops!
Having climbed high in elevation once again, we had one last snowfield to cross and knew that over the next hill, Lake Ann and Mount Shuksan would come into view.
Our first sight of Lake Ann, simply breathtaking!
We continued our hike on down to the lake and spent quite a bit of time exploring the trails around the area. Several of the trails took us to where we had a wonderful view of the glaciers on Mount Shuksan.
The hike to Lake Ann and back is approximately 8.2 miles so can be easily completed as a day hike, but there are are several nice campsites are available near the lake for those who want to stay a little longer. For directions, trail information and trip reports, go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-ann.