Picture Lake hike

Mt Baker
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Picture Lake hike

Distance: 0.4mi
Elevation: 0ft
Time: 1h

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9.7 Overall Rating
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This 0.5mi paved loop is picture-perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. Aptly-named Picture Lake, this is popular for photo-ops due to easy access and incredible views of Mount Shuksan reflected in the lake.

Picture Lake hike Map

Getting there

From Glacier, drive 21.0mi east on Mount Baker Highway to mileposts 54. Park on the left side of the road, next to the lake. A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

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When to do

July to October

Backcountry Campsites




Family friendly


Route Signage


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Route Type


Picture Lake
Elevation Graph

Route Description for Picture Lake hike

From the parking area, a few short paths lead down to the lake. Set out in either direction on the loop. Your first stops will surely be at the dock and interpretive overlook for head-on views of Mount Shuksan – if the weather is clear. Said to be one of the most photographed peaks in North America, Shuksan is a 9131ft glaciated massif (not a volcano) located within the boundaries of North Cascades National Park. Although Picture Lake is not within the park proper, it’s close enough for fabulous photos of the mountain.

Benches provide a place to rest and take in the views. In addition to Mount Shuksan, you can spot Table Mountain, Mount Herman, and Ruth Mountain along the loop – not to mention countless others in the distance. During the summer, blueberries, heather, and fireweed line the trail. Come fall, the vegetation turns fiery red-orange in spectacular contrast to Picture Lake’s blue waters and the snow-white glaciers of Mount Shuksan.

Insider Hints

  • This little lake is perfect for families, those with mobility issues, and anyone seeking a scenic stroll. Take your time walking, viewing, and learning. The interpretive signs tell the story of how the glacially-carved lake came to be.

  • No swimming or entering the water is permitted at Picture Lake.

  • To hike closer to Mount Shuksan, try the Lake Ann Trail.


Tammy Lee 6 months ago

Beautiful lake. There were so many people as well. It's really popular.

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1h 00m Time Taken
Freddo 6 months ago

Such a shame you can not swim. After some nice hikes, it would be perfect.

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Otis 6 months ago

nice walk around the lake with family

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