A beginner’s guide to the Baker Lake Trail

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Many moons ago, planning for the weekend meant searching Yelp for brunch spots with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Nowadays, I’m more likely to be Googling hiking trails. Sometimes life necessitates more trees and less vodka, and I’m okay with that.

Still, I’m never going to be the outdoorsy type who reflects on life in front of a crystal clear lakes, or feels centered only when standing amongst giant sequoias…that’s just not me. My main motivation for hiking is usually to burn calories and get some much needed vitamin D. Nature is just the cherry on top of those toned tan legs.

Consider this post a guide to hiking the Baker Lake Trail for the gal who feels more at ease overpaying for poached eggs than wearing polar fleece.

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First, purchase a Northwest Forest Pass before you leave. Pay for it online and print it out. You need a pass to park at this trail head and there’s no pay station at the lot.

Leave early! The trail is located about 2.5 hours from Seattle. If you’re driving up in April during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, tack on another hour to that. If you have a small bladder and/or need to eat at regular intervals, add another hour. Plan accordingly, and maybe let your hiking buddy in on this info. *Cough*

From the trail head, the hike to Baker Lake is about 14 miles.

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Yup. 28 miles round trip.

Now, contemplate giving up and heading back home. There’s probably still time to hit the outlets. JK JK JK. Just get hiking! But if that number didn’t result in even the slightest side eye, why are you even reading this? And if you’re anything like me, chances are it’ll be way past noon when you finally start, but even if you never reach the end, I promise it’s still worth your time. Plus, you start off at a different lake anyways, how much better could Baker Lake be. Right? Convince yourself of that.

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So, now you’re hiking! Set your phone to airplane mode BTW, there’s no reception and you need to preserve your battery so you can take tons of pictures and post them on Instagram the second you get some damn bars again.

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Nature! Isn’t she pretty?

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Look at all the moss. That’d be the good kind of lush!

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And the shelf fungi! So cool! Don’t dwell too long on them though or that seasonal morel menu at your favorite restaurant may lose it’s charm.

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Go off the path and explore. Take more pictures. If you get bored with the trees, take some selfies. Take advantage of this awesome natural lighting! When you turn around and no longer see your hiking partner who had stopped to take pictures just a minute ago, don’t panic. Chances are she just decided to hike ahead, and did NOT fall off a cliff while trying to get a wider shot.

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Enjoy yourself and happy trails!

What’s the longest distance you’ve hiked? OR if you don’t hike, what are your thoughts on Clamato?

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