The Blue Lake trailhead is along the North Cascades highway near Washington Pass and the trail loops around to the west behind the Liberty Bell Group of peaks. In fact, the climbers' trail to the Liberty Bell Group is along the Blue Lake trail.
We hiked the Blue Lake trail on November 7th - took the day off and headed for the mountains. We left early in the morning to give ourselves enough time for the hike, though in the end it was barely enough after numerous stops for pictures along the North Cascades Highway.
Actually we went first to the Washington Pass overlook and spent too much time there taking pictures (see previous post). Washington Pass is in the shadow of the Liberty Bell Group and the road snakes around under these amazing peaks.
There was a light dusting of snow even at the trailhead and more snow the further we went. In fact the trail was very slippery in spots and at one point I fell and banged up both elbows and a knee. The snow certainly made for some wonderful photography, however.
By the time we arrived at Blue Lake the light was already fading. We had our lunch there in the ruins of an old log cabin, coffee, ramen noodles and a freeze-dried meal, before heading back down to the car and home. In spite of the cold it was a very good day.
We saw a number of Gray Jays along the trail, but while we were eating at the lake there were many of them living up to the name Camp Robber. They did everything but snatch the food right out of our mouths as we were eating, but we did not mind their antics at all.
on the trail
frozen Conifer Coral Fungus and Pholiotas
Laundered Rag Lichen
along the trail
the Liberty Group with Liberty Bell dominating
back in the trees
False Pixie Cup Lichens
along the trail
Whistler Mountain to the west
Cutthroat Peak to the west
the Liberty Group
Cutthroat Peak and Whistler Mountain
Blue Lake's outlet
near the lake
back on the trail
last views of the peaks to the west
and the south
back at the trailhead