A series of sub-alpine lakes, flowering meadows and constantly changing views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan distinguish the Chain Lakes Trail as one of the premier attractions in Heather Meadows, located along the upper reaches of the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, State Route 542. Start from the Artist Point parking lot. You can take the trail one-way to Bagley Lakes Trail #684.1 or you can hike a loop using the Wild Goose Trail #684.3 to return uphill to Artist Point. Another popular route is to reach Chain Lakes and return to Artist Point the same way, making a four- to five-mile hike with 700 feet of elevation gain and loss.
The trail heads west from the Artist Point parking lot, skirting the lava walls of Table Mountain. At about one mile, the trail reaches a junction. A left turn leads to the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail #682.1. Follow the trail to the right, which drops to Mazama Lake, the first of the Chain Lakes. Four campsites and a backcountry toilet are located here. In another quarter of a mile, look for frosty chunks of ice in the aptly named Iceberg Lake. The Galena Camp junction and another backcountry toilet are located between Iceberg and Hayes Lakes. Four more camps and one backcountry toilet are situated around Hayes Lake. No trail circles the lakes. After climbing to Herman Saddle, the trail drops to Bagley Lakes and a signed junction. Continue straight ahead to the Bagley Lakes Trailhead (Mt. Baker Ski Area parking lot) or return to Artist Point past the Heather Meadows Visitor Center via the Wild Goose Trail. The Wild Goose Trail takes off to the right, gaining 1,200 feet in the final mile to Artist Point.
At a Glance
||Summer - Fall
||Summer - Fall
Hikers only. Overnight visitors must camp at designated campsites, located at Mazama and Hayes Lakes. Camps are marked with posts. No fires, except self-contained, carry-in stoves. No snowmobiles. Dogs must be leashed within the developed recreation area of Heather Meadows. Wilderness regulations apply, including a maximum party size of 12. Fishing requires a Washington State Fishing License.
||No potable water.
||Vault toilet at Artist Point Parking Lot and Heather Meadows Visitor Center parking lot.
A valid Recreation Pass required at Artist Point Trailhead.
Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District office or Glacier Public Service Center.
Travel east to the end of Mt. Baker Highway SR 542. It is approximately 24 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center to the Artist Point parking lot. Reach the trail from the western side of the parking lot, opposite the bathrooms. Alternate trail access is located at the Bagley Lakes Trailhead and the Heather Meadows Visitor Center.
Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.
• Green Trails: Mt. Shusksan #14
• USGS: Shuksan Arm
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness
Over 200 parking spaces, including spaces for RVs and buses.