Picture Lake hike in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Picture Lake hike

Mount Baker
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Mount Shuksan on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonInterpretive overlook on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonFooking across from the south end on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonPaved trail on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonA bench by the lake on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonFireweed in the summer on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonTable mountain in the distance on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonRoadside sign on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonFireweed and Table Mountain on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonThe boardwalk on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, WashingtonA family by the lake on the Picture Lake Hike near Mt Baker, Washington

Picture Lake hike

Distance: 0.7km
Elevation: 0m
Time: 1h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
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This 0.8km 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 33.8km 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.

I’ve done this 26 people have done this
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About

When to do

July to October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

No

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


Picture Lake
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Picture Lake

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 2783m 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.

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

  • 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.

Comments

maxjohanson 2 months ago

Great spot to get away to for a picnic and calming moment.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Sally S. Norbert 3 months ago

The views along the drive were amazing. All were beautiful.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Lambert O 3 months ago

Wonderful short loop around the lake to take in the gorgeous views of the mountains and lake. Stunning!

9.0 Overall Rating
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Aleysha C. 3 months ago

Amazing short loop around the lake to take in the beautiful views of the mountains and lake.

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Aska Tanaka 4 months ago

Picture Lake was beautiful, peaceful and serene.

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masonH. 6 months ago

It was a pleasant experience! There are benches where you can rest while enjoying the beauty.

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Tammy Lee 1 year ago

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

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Freddo 1 year ago

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

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Otis 1 year ago

nice walk around the lake with family

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9 Comments

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