87 – Baker River Trail

Low in elevation, the Baker River Trail makes a great year-round hiking destination.

Baker River Trailhead
Baker River Trailhead

The cable stay bridge over the Baker River leads to the Baker Lake Trail (go here – http://www.60before60.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/46-baker-lake-trail/ – to see photos from Hike #46 along the Baker Lake Trail).

Cable Stay Bridge over Baker River
Cable Stay Bridge over Baker River

For this hike, rather than turn right and cross the bridge, we continued straight on the Baker River Trail and followed the shore of the wild and scenic Baker River.

Stream crossing . . .
Stream crossing . . .

Even though this is a lowlands trail, it is not without mountain views. Here, Jagged Ridge and Seapho Peak along the southeast side of Mount Shuksan come into view.

Along the trail . . .
Along the trail . . .

In places, sandstone cliffs and giant boulders line one side of the trail. Kent peered into a cave formed by huge boulders.

Peering into a cave . . .
Peering into a cave . . .

Accustomed to seeing huge old-growth trees in many of our forests, I think this one wins the award for the biggest I have ever seen. Look how the size of this tree dwarfs Kent as he peaks around this tree!

Gigantic tree . . . along the trail
Gigantic tree . . . along the trail

Before building the dams along the Baker River, the forest throughout the valley that was to be flooded was logged. Today when the water in Baker Lake is low, huge stumps remain. We enjoyed a bit of stump climbing after our hike.

Climbing stumps . . . at Baker Lake
Climbing stumps . . . at Baker Lake

Information on hiking the Baker River Trail can be found on the Washington Trails Association website here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/baker-river. It is a great hike to do in the winter when our favorite high country trails are socked in with snow.

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