Lake Ann

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
549 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Lake Ann hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

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.

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Route Description for Lake Ann

Lake Ann Trail begins with a drop, and ends with a climb. Start out by descending some 213 m 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 (1,189 m) and a junction at 4.0 km. Continue straight (the left branch of the fork) for Lake Ann. Then, the climb begins.

Ascend steadily, gaining nearly 305 m in the next 2.3 km. 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 6.4 km, 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 0.3 km 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.

Would you like to see more hikes in Mount Baker? Check out the Yellow Aster Butte, Chain Lakes Loop, Skyline Divide Trail or Heliotrope Ridge.

Insider Hints for Lake Ann

  • 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.

Getting to the Lake Ann Trailhead

From Glacier, drive 37.0 km 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.

Route Information

  • When to do

    August to October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Yes, at the lake

  • Toilets

    Yes, privy at Swift Creek trail junction (2.5mi in)

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Lake Ann Elevation Graph

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