Picture Lake Path

Area Status: Open
Fall Colors

Picture Lake is the centerpiece of a strikingly beautiful landscape in the Heather Meadows area. The classic alpine vista of Mt. Shuksan mirrored in Picture Lake is one of the most photographed mountain scenes in North America. A backdrop of mountains, wildflowers and colorful plant foliage make this a beautiful, universally accessible family hike.

You will find interpretive sign panels and a viewing scope installed during the summer months on a paved viewpoint. A platform on the edge of the lake provides a resting spot.

For information about accessible recreation opportunities in Pacific Northwest National Forests, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r6/accessiblerecreation

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer - Fall
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer - Fall
Restrictions: Hikers only. No camping. No fires, except self-contained, carry-in stoves. No snowmobiles. Dogs must be leashed within the developed recreation area of Heather Meadows. Swimming and boating prohibited. Do not enter areas closed for rehabilitation.
Closest Towns: Glacier, Washington
Water: No potable water.
Restroom: Vault toilet at Austin Pass Picnic Area and Heather Meadows Visitor Center parking lot.
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass required at Picture Lake Trailhead and Heather Meadows.
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District office or Glacier Public Service Center

General Information


From the Glacier Public Service Center, travel east on Mt. Baker Highway 542 for 21 miles. The parking area is located just past the Firs Lodge along the left side of the road on the north side of Picture Lake.


The 0.5-mile path is a combination of pavement and boardwalk, making this trail universally accessible.

General Notes:

• Green Trails: Mt. Shusksan #14
• USGS: Shuksan Arm
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness


Roadside parking.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:
Elevation desc Elevation Gain/Loss: none
Difficulty Level: Easy


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Visitor Programs

Recreation areas with activity Visitor Programs:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Find your favorite spot!

  • Trails & Campgrounds


  Area/Length : 
0.5 mile loop.

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4,200 feet.