Table Mountain Trail

Mount Baker Wilderness Area, Washington

Distance1.9mi
Elevation Gain1,648ft
Trailhead Elevation5,096ft
Top5,733ft
Elevation Min/Max4977/5733ft
Elevation Start/End5096/5096ft

Table Mountain Trail

Table Mountain Trail is a hiking trail in Whatcom County, Washington. It is within Mount Baker Wilderness Area. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 5,096 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,648 feet. Table Mountain (elevation 5,735 feet) and the Artist Point viewpoint can be seen along the trail. There is also parking along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Chain Lakes Trail.

Table Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"From this high, barren, snow-blotched plateau that resembles a giant anvil wedged between “the great white one” (Baker) and “the rocky and precipitous one” (Shuksan), savor some of the finest horizon-spanning views this side of the Mississippi.

And while room at the Table is often at a premium on late summer weekends, beware: this hike can be dangerous if snow-covered, and parts are steep and somewhat exposed. If the route looks unnerving, turn around and enjoy the much mellower nearby Artist Point Trail instead."

"The scramble to the summit of Table Mountain is best left to summer hikers, but careful showshoers can explore the ?anks of the broad ?at-topped mountain, provided that avalanche conditions allow it. Grand views and sweat-popping workouts await eager explorers here.

From the uppermost parking area, head west along the ridge above Bagley Lakes basin. This ridge leads to the sweeping rock snout of Table Mountain in a bit over a quartermile. The long, narrow mountain runs west away from the parking area, and snowshoers should restrict their travels to the slope leading up to the long broad mountain.

Instead of attempting to scramble up that craggy face, stay right and work your way through a long, looping 180-degree turn around the upper end of the ridge to head back northeast along the crest of the cirque that cradles Bagley Lakes."

"This trail to the expansive summit of flat-topped Table Mountain is one that people who live here take out-of-town visitors on to give them a taste of what the North Cascades are truly like—which is one reason you’ll never feel lonely here. The crowds, oftentimes busloads of them, love this trail, so try to make it here during the week or super early or toward sunset on weekends when photographic opportunities can be sublime.

The short, steep trail to the top has been blasted out of an almost vertical lava wall, and while it gets you to the top in a hurry (in about a half mile), it can feel a bit exposed. Small children or those who’ve done most of their sightseeing through car windows might not feel too comfortable on these rocky switchbacks. That said, give it a try. The trail is wide, and you can always hug the wall on the way up."

"The backcountry ski terrain near the Mount Baker Ski Area is one of the few places in the Cascades where you can drive to tree line in the winter months.

The area’s fantastic access combined with its incredibly deep snowpack make it an ideal touring destination. This loop tour around Table Mountain provides many options for further exploration. Poke around and enjoy some great ski touring."

"An exciting, steep, and very short exposed trail leads to a broad summit plateau between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. We carried one of our babies in a backpack to the top when she was less than a year old, and I met a father leading a four year old who had also been carried there in a pack when he was younger, but was now walking it for the first time. I overheard a small girl on her way up the cliffs ask, “Mother, how are we ever going to get down?”

The trail may not scare all children, but it does frighten some parents, who find it alarmingly exposed. Parental guidance is needed. Although hundreds of families climb Table Mountain every year, if you are not comfortable on the trail, don’t take your children. There are other trails. But rest assured, the blasted rock inclines are wide and gentle. Arriving at the summit cairns (piles of rocks) rewards children with a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Sometimes this trail does not thaw out until mid-August, and some years not at all. Do not attempt it until the snow is gone from the cliffs."

Table Mountain Trail Reviews

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8/8/2009
The weather report stated "low clouds" would be present. As we drove up to Artist Point, the visibility was awful. You could barely see ten feet in front of you. Naturally, we thought we'd get above the clouds. We never did but decided to take the Table Mountain Train anyway. The trail was visible but we did not see any of the beautiful scenery. The trail was not hard. It was slightly rocky but easy to climb. Some parts were narrow. I'd keep a hold of your children. We arrived at the top and saw nothing but white (low clouds)! So ....on the way down we took pictures of the wildflowers and they were beautiful. I'd recommend this short hike. I'll go back when the weather is better.
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Trail Information

Mount Baker Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Mount Baker Wilderness Area
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Mount Baker—Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ranger District
Local Contacts
Green Trails: Mount Shuksan No. 14
Local Maps