Picture Lake and Horseshoe Bend Trail

A few weeks ago, we went with Jason’s parents up to Mt. Baker to go explore the area. We didn’t make it all the way up to Artist Point as we had hoped, since the road hadn’t been plowed all the way yet. We were hoping to hike up to Table Mountain, but that will have to wait for another day. We did make it to Picture Lake however, which has beautiful views of Mt. Shuksan.

Mt. Shuksan

Mt. Shuksan at Picture Lake

Jeff and Kathi

Jeff and Kathi (Jason's parents)



After walking around the lake, we piled back into the car and drove down to the base of the mountain. Near the Glacier ranger station, there is the trailhead for the Horseshoe Bend Trail (http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/recreation/activities/trails/mbrd_0687.htm). Since the Table Mountain trail was closed (well, the parking area for it was), we decided to try this trail.

We started off down some stairs which led to the trail right next to the Nooksack River. The trail weaves back and forth parallel to the river the whole way. The river has many rapids in this area, making it very loud.

Nooksack River

Nooksack River

The hike is nice and pretty easy, and pretty well maintained… to a point. Once you get past the area that most people hike to, the trail is semi-overgrown, and the trail rolls up and down the ridge. We followed the trail for a while, until we got to this lookout:

Horseshoe Bend

One arm of Horseshoe Bend

We thought we had made it to Horseshoe Bend. Technically we did, but just barely, as you can see from this map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://www.garafa.com/GPSKit/tracks/15df6cf1d6a732b171db65286920997683602a58_4.kml

Overall, it was a nice hike on such a hot day. Being next to the river in the shade helped keep us cool and made the hike more enjoyable.  We still hope to hike Table Mountain later this year, but only if we can make it up there before it starts snowing again!