I was a little skeptical about there being a lot of snow because this hike is at such a high elevation. There were some snow patches here and there and once we got to the top of the mountain, everything was covered in snow. We couldn’t go on toward the lakes, which was a bummer because I’ve never done this hike before.
Even though the second part of the trail was covered in snow, the views at the top were amazing and worth going for. The first part of the hike is gorgeous.
In the first part of the trail, streams that are surrounded by wildflowers and greenery in every direction connect the bright blue lakes. The views from the start of this hike are debatably prettier than the views from the top. If you are a photographer, this hike is for you!
This hike has a few trailheads and is connected to a few different trails. I started at the Heather Meadows trailhead, just past the ski area. There are two trails at the start and both will take you to the Chain Lakes trail. I went right and enjoyed it, so I’d recommend going that way.
It was an hour and 45-minute drive from Western to the trailhead and the drive is just as beautiful as the hike. I started the hike at 12:15 p.m. and completed it at 3:30 p.m. The full hike is 8 miles long and a 1,700-foot elevation gain.
Chain Lakes is must-add for the summer hiking bucket list, but I’d recommend going later in the summer if you want to do the full hike. If you go earlier this summer, make sure you’re wearing waterproof hiking boots or your feet will be soaked. There are some snow patches you have to get through, but nothing unmanageable if you’re wearing the right gear.
Regardless of when you go, the views are amazing and the scenery is great. The only bad thing about this hike is that it is just off of Mount Baker Highway. Once you get high enough, you can see and hear the highway on the other side.