Elbow Lake Trail 697

  

Hike this trail south to north: There is no bridge crossing over the Middle Fork Nooksack River from the Forest Service Road 38 trailhead access.

Wind through pleasant forest to arrive at two buggy mid-elevation mountain lakes. Start at the Pioneer Horse Camp near the end of Forest Service Road 12 and climb 1,000 feet in 3.5 miles to reach the junction with Bell Pass Trail 603.3.  Turn left at the junction, enter the Mt. Baker Wilderness in about .25 miles and reach Lake Doreen in .75 miles.  Soon after find a spur trail to the right leading to campsites on the east side of Elbow Lake.  Continue on the main trail; descend gently past Elbow Lake, through some boggy areas and among ancient trees for 1.5 miles to a view of the Twin Sisters Mountain Range.  Hike another two miles to the northern trail terminus near the Middle Fork Nooksack River.  There is no bridge over the river to reach the north trailhead and fording the river may not be possible during high river flows.

Elbow Lake and Lake Doreen are popular fishing spots.

Washington Trails Association

At a Glance

Permit Info: Fishing requires a Washington State fishing license.
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer / Fall
Restrictions:
  • Hiker and stock trail.  Open to stock Aug. 1-Oct. 31.  Open to llamas year round.
  • The trail enters the Mt. Baker Wilderness where wilderness regulations limits parties to 12 members, including stock or llama.
  • Forest Service Road 38 is closed and gated Dec. 1 - June 15 at Wallace Creek, 1.3 miles before the trailhead to protect elk breeding habitat.
  • Forest Service Road 12 is closed and gated Nov. 1 - June 30 at Wanlick Pass, 6.4 miles before the Pioneer Camp Trailhead to protect elk breeding habitat.
  • Forest Service Road 12 is gated at milepost 13.9, past the junction to Pioneer Camp trailhead. Use is limited to maintenance of a Snotel site by Whatcom County.
Water: Water is plentiful but must be treated before drinking.
Restroom: None at trailhead or along trail. Use approved method to pack out solid human waste.
Information Center: Check current conditionsor call Mt. Baker Ranger District, Sedro Woolley office at 360-856-5700,extension 515, or Glacier Public Service Center at 360-599-2714.

General Information

Directions:

Trailhead Access (North End): From the Mt. Baker Ranger Station office in Sedro-Woolley, turn left and travel north on Highway 9 to Acme. At milepost 7.2 after crossing the South Fork of the Nooksack River, turn right on Mosquito Lake Road. Follow Mosquito Lake Road nine miles. After crossing the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River, turn right (east) on FS road 38. Drive FS road 38 about 11 miles to the trailhead on the right (south). Parking is available directly across from the trailhead.

Forest Service Road 38 can also be accessed from the Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 via Mosquito Lake Road at milepost 16.  Turn south onto Mosquito Lake Road and travel 4.8 miles to FS road 38. Alert: There is no bridge crossing over the Middle Fork Nooksack River from the Forest Service Road 38 trailhead acces =s and fording the river may not be possible during high river flows.

Trailhead Access (South End): From the Mount Baker Ranger Station in Sedro-Woolley, follow State Route 20 east for 16 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway (Forest Service Road 11). Continue for 12 miles to Forest Service Road 12 and turn left. Travel FS Road 12 for 14 miles and look for a sign indicating a left hand turn for the trailhead. Turn left on a short spur road, which leads to Pioneer Horse Camp and trailhead. The Pioneer Camp Trailhead is located on the right (north) side of the parking area.


General Notes:

Maps:

  • Green Trails: Hamilton 45, Mt. Baker Wilderness Climbing 13S
  • Forest Service:  Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness
  • USGS: Twin Sisters Mtn.

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Highlights

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
  8 miiles
  Latitude : 
48.6797235834
  Longitude : 
-121.896992459
  Elevation : 
2100 feet (Road 38), 2200 feet (Road 12)
 
Know Before You Go!

Know Before You Go!