Lake Ann hike
The hike to Lake Ann takes you through wildflower meadows and talus slopes to Lake Ann for close-up views of Mount Shuksan’s thunderous glaciers. This is a longer hike that always leaves us tired, but also relaxed. Thankfully, the elevation isn’t too brutal.
From Glacier, drive 23.0mi east on Mount Baker Highway. The Lake Ann trailhead parking lot is on the left side of the road. A Northwest Forest Pass is required.
|When to do|
August to October
Yes, at the lake
Yes, privy at Swift Creek trail junction (2.5mi in)
Out and back
Route Description for Lake Ann hike
Lake Ann Trail begins with a drop, and ends with a climb. Start out by descending some 700ft into the valley alongside Swift Creek. The stream-strewn meadows here are immediately rewarding, resting in the shadow of Shuksan Arm.
The trail crosses Swift Creek a couple times – no more than a shallow rock-hopping affair – reaching its low point (3900ft) and a junction at 2.5mi. Continue straight (the left branch of the fork) for Lake Ann. Then, the climb begins.
Ascend steadily, gaining nearly 1000ft in the next 1.4mi. Prepare yourself for rocky terrain. The trail weaves through the woods before reaching exposed slopes for the rest of the trek. Views open up to Mount Baker and Table Mountain on a clear day, while marmots and pika pine delight hikers with their whistles and meeps.
Snow often lingers on the trail late into summer. Reach the saddle above Lake Ann at 4.0mi, then drop down into its basin below. The lake may be snow-covered or completely melted out, depending on the timing of your visit.
From the saddle, continue 0.2mi down to a nice vantage point between Lake Ann and Mount Shuksan. From here, Shuksan is near enough to make a racket: waterfalls flow down its face, and the occasional glacial groan is thunderous. Meander out to the end of the lake if you like, or simply sit and enjoy the sights and sounds. Return the way you came.
Overcrowding and sanitation can be an issue for backpackers at Lake Ann. Always pack out everything you pack in.
Bring trekking poles and be prepared for all weather conditions.
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