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Fall Hikes

1. CHAIN LAKES LOOP

Covered in snow most of the year, the trek on this North Cascades trail at the end of Mount Baker Highway is spectacular in fall—the perfect time for hikers to enjoy the natural beauty without snowshoes. Blooming heather adds splashes of vibrant purple next to the clear blue alpine lakes. While Chain Lakes Loop Trail is long, it’s relatively low-impact and lovely views of Baker and Table Mountain can be enjoyed throughout.

Length: 8.0 miles roundtrip
Parking Fee: Northwest Forest Pass
North Cascades, Mount Baker Area | wta.org

2. SOUTH BAKER LAKE

Crossing wooden bridges or hop-ping across riverbeds can draw a youthful explorer from anyone. This trail, near Concrete, is well-kept and enclosed in a forest green canopy. A creek will cut through the trees, revealing scenic Baker Lake—a great spot for lunch.

Length: 8.0 miles roundtrip
Parking Fee: Northwest Forest Pass
North Cascades, Mount Baker | wta.org

3. CHANTERELLE

A relatively new addition to the hikes sprinkled throughout Lake Whatcom Park. A short drive from downtown Bellingham, the trail is shrouded in picturesque foliage. Wildlife is abundant, so keep your eyes peeled on your way to the lookout.

Length: 4.8 roundtrip
Parking Fee: None
Lake Whatcom Park, Bellingham | bellingham.org

4. MOUNT CONSTITUTION LOOP

Forget endless love. How about endless views? A challenging hike to the peak of Orcas Island is worthwhile, thanks to the expan-sive panorama awaiting you. Allow your breath to be taken away by the sight of the other San Juans, Bellingham Bay, and Mount Baker.

Length: 6.7 miles roundtrip
Parking Fee: Discover Pass
Orcas Island | moranstatepark.com

5. WHISTLE LAKE

In the summertime, Whistle Lake in Anacortes is active with locals aching to escape the heat. But once school starts up, the area grows quiet. Bright green leaves transform into autumn classics and some-times a mist hangs over the still water. It’s like getting lost in the woods—in the best way possible.

Length: 4.0 miles roundtrip
Parking Fee: None
Anacortes, Puget Sound | anacortes.org

For more content like this, check out our article on the North Cascades National Park here.

"It’s like getting lost in the woods—in the best way possible."