83 – Lake Ann

We hiked to a Lake Ann before (see Hike #78 – Completing the Heather-Maple Pass Loop (Day 3 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip), #77 – Lewis Lake, Heather Pass and Lake Ann Overlook (Day 2 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip) and #78 – Completing the Heather-Maple Pass Loop (Day 3 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip)), but that was a different Lake Ann than this one. With a name like Ann, I’m not surprised there is more than one. This Lake Ann is a beauty, and practically in our own back yard, is located in our local Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Lake Ann trailhead
Lake Ann trailhead

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!

Autumn color along the trail . . .
Autumn color along the trail . . .

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.

Crossing headwaters of Swift Creek . . .
Crossing headwaters of Swift Creek . . .

Finally we started climbing again, this time, over miles and miles of talus slopes.

Trail over talus slopes . . .
Trail over talus slopes . . .

Our view from the trail, always stunning and with penty of photo ops!

Photo op . . .
Photo op . . .

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.

Crossing snowfield . . .
Crossing snowfield . . .

Our first sight of Lake Ann, simply breathtaking!

Lake Ann . . .
Lake Ann . . .

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.

Upper and lower Curtis Glacier on Mount Shuksan . . .
Upper and lower Curtis Glacier 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.

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