Chain Lakes Loop + Ptarmigan Ridge

Mount Shuksan Fall Colors Hike - Chain Lakes Loop

This hike was a reminder of how lucky I am to live in Washington. Between Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, the North Cascades, Central Cascades and more, we are surrounded with beauty. After completing the Heather Maple Pass Loop a few days earlier, we headed to the Mount Baker region to explore more fall colors. We hit this on a sunny and warm day for October. While we experienced a layer of snow on top of the fall colors a few days earlier, seeing them crystal clear was lovely.

We actually connected onto Ptarmigan Ridge (and back) so my watch clocked us at about 13 miles. Note: this is not a loop trail. It would be best if you carpooled and parked one car at the bottom of Artist Point (entry to Chain Lakes trail) and one car at Artist Point parking lot.

We intended to do Ptarmigan Ridge only, but started at Chain Lakes trailhead. We made the mistake of parking below Artist Point so we had quite the walk to our car. Oops.

Round Trip:

8 miles (Chain Lakes Loop only)

Elevation Gain:

1700 feet

Dog friendly!

For more information on directions, hiking reports and more:

Chain Lake Loop details 

Ptarmigan Ridge details

Chain Lakes Loop Trail in North Cascades

Chain Lakes Loop Fall Colors in North Cascades
Mushrooms on Chain Lake Loops
Ptarmigan Ridge Trail Fall Color Hike in North Cascades