Table Mountain, in the Mt. Baker area, must be one of the easier hikes here, but the payoff is simply spectacular. The trail starts at Artist Point, 12 km northeast of the Mount Baker summit. Artist Point is the starting point for a number of great hikes, such as Ptarmigan Ridge and Chain Lakes. And a bonus… the road to Artist point is paved the entire way !!
The trail starts from the west side of the parking lot at Artist Point. Watch for the sign for Table Mountain. Soon, you will start heading up via switchbacks carved into the side of the mountain. The views here are amazing and never stop ! There is quite a drop off from the trail, but I found it pretty safe. I would be weary of bringing small children. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. Once at the top, the trail meanders though scree and vegetated areas, finally terminating at a couple of small tarns (very small). There is a lesser used trail that continues here and joins up with the Chain Lakes trail, but it is pretty rough and would require some scrambling (which is always more difficult going down). From this point, most people just turn around and go back.
Remember – You will need a Northwest Forest Pass, which can be purchased in person at the Glacier Public Service Center at 10091 Mt. Baker Highway,Glacier, WA (Link to Map)
Or you can buy an epass in advance online at the Discover Your Northwest website
Border crossing tips: Bring passport, Nexus or enhanced ID !!; no fruit, no veges, no meat (this isn’t a complete list !); trailmix is okay. There is an IGA just across the border if you want to get some fruit or a sandwich for your hike.
A great resource for current conditions for this hike is the WTA website.
Check it OUT !!!
The location of Artist Point is HERE
Distance: 4 km (linear return)
Time: 3 hours
Low point: 1545 m
High point: 1741 m
Elevation gain: 196 m
Trailhead: 48° 50’ 47.6” by 121° 41’ 36.6” (Google Map)
The route (with downloadable gps)…
A photo I took on the drive up…
Here is a long video with stills and video…
Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.
Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.
For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.