Scenic USA - Washington

Lake Ann

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Lake Ann - Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington

Photos by Eric Noel
Eric's Lake Ann Gallery

   Heading east out of Bellingham, within a few miles of Washington State's border with Canada, Route 542 climbs up to Austin Pass and the Mount Baker Ski Area. Mount Shuksan and Curtis Glacier - Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington This recreation area, about a two and a half hour drive from Seatle, holds the record for the deepest seasonal snowfall. With record amounts of snowfall every year it's easy to guess the area is primo for serious skiing and snowboarding. But, during the summer months the Mount Baker area continues to draw in thousands of outdoor enthusiasts for kayaking, fishing and sightseeing. The Mount Baker Wilderness also attracts an adventurous group of backpackers and peak baggers. The preserve covers more than 100,000 acres and shares its eastern border with the North Cascades National Park, another wilderness park.
   Starting out at Austin Pass, backcountry hikers take on the popular Lake Ann Trail. After dropping down a tree covered path into Swift Creek Valley, hikers climb to incredible views of Mount Baker, Lake Ann, the Upper Curtis Glacier and Mount Shuksan. Rivaling big sister Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan's elevation nears 10,000 feet. Here in the rugged Cascades snow and ice last through summer, accumulating additional layers to the mountain's permanent glaciers. After a four mile hike this scene of Lake Ann, Mount Shuksan and the Curtis Glacier come into view, capturing just a snippet of the grand panoramic views along the Shuksan Arm.

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