Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chain Lakes Loop

Stone Bridge
One of my favorites!

Mt. Shuksan

Table Mountain reflecting in Ice lake

The trail we hiked on.

Trekking through the snow.

Mt. Shuksun
Nick and I with Mt. Baker in the back ground
Trail marker!
Steep hill we had to climb! Tried to snow shoe up this hill this winter and weren't able to make it.

So yesterday around 3, I texted Nick to see if he wanted to go for a hike after we were done working. I looked through our day hikes book and decided on Chain Lakes Loop, a 7 mile hike. I backed our bag and camera and meet Nick at Sunset Square to take off. We quickly grabbed taco bell, not a nutritious meal, but it was quick, and we began our 1.5 hour drive up to the Mount Baker ski lodge. By time we started our hike, it was already 6 o clock, and we were afraid that we might not make it back before it got dark. I packed our head lamp just in case.

We did a total of 1800 foot elevation gain. Going up wasn't too bad, but coming back down killed my knees and ankles.

Our hike was amazing! We were above the tree line, so we had unobstructed views of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker as well as Table Mountain. We saw several tall water falls and about 4 lakes. My favorite lake was Ice Lake. As the name implies, there were large chunks of ice floating in it. It was also really flat and reflected Table Mountain in it perfectly.

The trail was just opened a week or two ago, and so there is still alot of snow on it. We would be walking along, and then all of a sudden the trail would disappear under the snow and we would have to figure out which direction we thought we should go. A few times we had to back track, but we always ended up finding our way. Parts of the trail were very narrow and had a steep drop off on one side. Other parts of the trail weren't really a trail at all, but more of just climbing over large boulders! To finish up the hike, we had to cross this really cool stone bridge!

One of the coolest things about this hike is that the first part of it was the part of the route we did this winter when we went snow shoeing. The mountain looks way different when it's covered in 12+ feet of snow. It was weird to look at areas where people were skiing a few months ago and see rocks, waterfalls, trees, lakes, and buildings that weren't there before.

Overall the hike was amazing and I woulld recommend it to any one. Took us about 3.5 hours to complete and that includes a lot of time to stop and take pictures.

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