The Baker Lake Trail was one of the ones marked closed on the county website I had seen but yesterday on another site I read a report that someone had done the trail on Thursday and she said that only the last few hundred yards had any snow. So today we, and about 30 others, went to try it out.
Baker Creek Road exits the highway north of town and then it is 10 miles to the trailhead. The road is dirt and in fairly good shape but it was dry and very dusty. We didn’t follow anyone in but did on the way out, requiring a quick car wash once we were back in town.
From the trailhead you climb about 800 vertical feet (8000 to 8800 feet) through several very long switchbacks to the lake. The trail is never steep but it is a continuous climb with no flat spots.
Most of the climb was through a thoroughly burned out pine forest.
Some people on the next switchback.
Climbing one of the switchbacks we had to remember to look back occasionally.
After the second corner we were in the ex-forest with no long views.
Some deadfall to be cleaned up.
I thought this stump looked like one of the LOTR Ring Wraiths.
The third turn took across Baker Creek.
Jennie though this bush had an interesting bud.
The climb to the final turn seemed exceedingly long. It could have been a bit shorter and steeper.
After the turn we had a nice view of the mountain peak that is over the lake.
In the panorama below you can barely see Jennie far down the trail.
As expected we had to cross, at first, some smaller patches of snow.
They got larger as we got closer to the lake. We only sank in a few times.
We are at almost 9000 feet. In the sun it was very warm but when it went behind the clouds and a wind blew, the jackets came out.
It was a really great view at the lake. The wide panorama.
The lake is still mostly ice covered but unfrozen near our shore. When we got there the wind had died down making for some nice reflections.
As usual the mountains seemed much higher in person, than in these pictures.
As we were sitting there, another couple sitting near us moved on. Soon the husband came back for a forgotten dog leash. We moved over to the log they were using because it had a nicer view. Jennie looked down and there was a nice new iPhone X. I made a mad dash after them and thankfully they had not gotten too far. The lady hadn’t noticed that it was gone and needless to say she was very happy to get it back.
We started to have lunch but then I saw some big clouds coming so I made a quick dash around the bottom of the lake while everything was still sunny.
Looking up the lake.
Continuing on around until it got too snowy and steep.
I got a shot of Jennie back at our lunch spot.
She used her phone to get a shot of me but I was tiny and standing in front of a tree.
Back to Jennie. It was a great lunch spot.
After staring for a long time, we could see the afternoon darker clouds coming, so we started back down.
And a final view.
After a dusty drive out and a quick car wash, we headed home.