Located in the hills above Baker Lake, Blue Lake is a great destination for a family daytrip. A short and easy hike leads to this serene swimming spot and an intricate system of trails around the lake offers youngsters plenty to explore.
Elevation gain: 100 feet
Round trip: 1½ miles
Hiking time: 45 minutes
Best times to hike: June through October
Family friendly: Yes
Dogs: Dogs are allowed.
Amenities: Several campsites at lake; one box toilet.
Current conditions: Trail is clear of snow. One fallen tree obstructs the trail, but is easily passable.
Permits: Northwest Forest Pass required; $5 for the day or $30 for an annual pass.
Maps: Green Trails No. 45: Hamilton; USGS: Baker Pass
Getting there: Drive south on Interstate 5. Take exit 232 and turn left onto Cook Road. When it intersects with Highway 20, turn left. Follow Highway 20 east for 16 miles; turn left onto Baker Lake Road. Follow for 12 miles. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 12. This gravel road splits at 2 miles. Stay left. Continue for another 5 miles to Forest Service Road 1230. Turn left onto Road 1230 and follow to trailhead. Drive time from Bellingham: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Parking: Park at end of road.