Ptarmigan Ridge Trail – Mt. Baker National Forest

October 10th 2022


Join us for a 19 kilometre out-and-back hike along Ptarmigan Ridge at Mt. Baker. It is rated by AllTrails as a moderately challenging hike with an elevation gain of 756m and no scrambling or exposure. However, there are reports of loose rock along the trail which may make the hike more challenging for those with ankle or knee concerns.

The trail passes through some saddles and over ridges into some stunning vistas as you approach Mt. Baker itself. The fall colours are out too, which makes this a perfect time of the year to go. There are two beautiful turquoise lakes near the end we will try to reach and lunch at. According to AllTrails the average round-trip time is approx. 6 hours.

I have not done this hike myself. However, I was mightily impressed when I saw it from afar while hiking the nearby Chain Lakes loop a few weeks ago. My intention is to enjoy this hike at a moderate pace and to adjust the speed to keep the group together as much as possible. Note also that at the moment there is a 40% chance of rain on Monday. They are calling for <1mm, but if the conditions change or get slippery/dangerous my plan is to turn the group back for safety.

Experience required for this trip: You need to be able to climb comfortably and steadily along rocky, uneven ground with a loaded day pack for a full 6-hour day. In terms of the grade that means you have hiked the equivalent of Elfin Lakes or Garibaldi Lake. This is not a trip for first time hikers. Those with previous experience on similar hikes only, please.

Rendezvous point:  Artist’s Point Parking Lot – )48.84732833677915, -121.69218154299575). Composting toilets available at parking lot.  SPECIAL NOTE: NO WATER AVAILABLE.

Meeting time at Artist’s Point: 8:30am, Oct.10.

Departure from trailhead: 9:00am

Return to Artist’s Point parking area: Approx. 3:00pm


  • your smile and a sense of adventure
  • $5USD cash for park entry fee
  • extra water
  • sunscreen
  • hiking poles (suggested)
  • extra warm clothing
  • rain jacket
  • passport
  • pre-filled ArriveCan form (optional)
  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • see 10 essentials for further ideas:

N.B. I have not organized a carpool for this hike as I trust participants can organize this among themselves. We can create a WhatsApp group for communication closer to the weekend.



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