Earlier this month, I went on an overnight hiking trip in Washington’s North Cascades.
I spent the weekend taking in mountain views and gorging myself on wild blueberries.
It was amazing.
Most of the trip was spent on the Ptarmigan Ridge and Chain Lakes Loop trails. Once the snow has melted in summer, these hikes are super accessible. Both can be accessed from Artist Point, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
There are many trails in the area, and with a little planning you can make your hike as short or as long as you’d like. Our two-day distance was about 20 miles.
We started by hiking the Chain Lakes Loop before spending the night next to the Ptarmigan Ridge trail, at a site with an incredible view of Mt. Baker and a glacial lake.
Here are a few photos!
Chain Lakes Loop photos
Not pictured: the handfuls of blueberries we devoured at every opportunity. Seriously, very few things are as delicious as mountain blueberries, and they’re all over this trail.
Ptarmigan Ridge photos
And here are some Ptarmigan Ridge photos!
Hiking the Chain Lakes Loop and Ptarmigan Ridge trails
Want to see these trails for yourself? I promise they’re way cooler in real life than in these photos! To get to them, just head all the way to the end of the Mt. Baker Highway (Hwy 542). You’ll pass Heather Meadows, where you can start the Chain Lakes hike, shortly before winding up at Artist Point.
The ease of access and great bang-for-your-buck make these hikes great candidates for day hikers, but it’s also easy to find a place to camp if you’d rather stay overnight.
For more information, you can contact the Glacier Ranger Station.
You should also take a look at the WTA (Washington Trails Association) profiles for each of these hikes—WTA is the go-to website for information on Washington hikes.