Posts Tagged ‘bagley lakes’

Bagley Lakes and Trails Through Heather Meadows

Two hikers make their way up the Chain Lakes Trail to the Heather Meadows parking lot in the Bagley Lakes/Heather Meadows area of Washington State, USA.

two hikers on the chain lakes trail at bagley lakes heather meadows

Two Hikers on the Chain Lakes Trail by Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

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   Almost every year I make a trip to the Mount Baker area to photograph during the fall season. At this time of year almost all of the snow has melted, the summer heat is gone as have the bugs that often come with it. Heather Meadows is one of the areas I always walk through and photograph. I stop and look at the wonderful view from Picture Lake, but I rarely photograph there. In recent years the behaviour of other photographers has helped me move on quickly

   The first photograph above shows two hikers heading up to the parking lot on the Chain Lakes Trail. The section of the Chain Lakes Trail by Bagley Lakes is one of the trails I frequent with many great views of the lakes and surrounding mountains. One of the difficulties of completing the Chain Lakes Trail in its entirety is where to park your vehicle. If you part at Artist Point, when you get the the area photographed here you still have a 250 meter (820 feet) elevation climb to the parking lot. If you park here at Heather Meadows, you start with that climb. Wishing to avoid that, many park at Artist Point but ask for a ride from those visiting the lower parking lot. I gave the first gentleman in this photograph a ride to his truck so he could drive back down and pick up his hiking companion at Heather Meadows. There was a small lineup of families and individual hikers wanting the same. I’m sure some were out of luck and had to make the climb back to the car.

mount herman and bagley lakes at heather meadows

Mount Herman and Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

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   The second photo was made from the Fire and Ice Trail which has a nice lookout over Bagley Lakes. This was the spot I made one of my favourite panorama photographs and this time made a few photographs of the colour in the water, fall foliage on the side of Mount Herman, and the peak near Herman Saddle. I’ve made the hike to the saddle before, and hope to do it again in the coming years when I have time. The view from up there is pretty awesome!

blooming subalpine aster eurybia merita at heather meadows

Late blooming Subalpine Aster (Eurybia merita) (Purchase)

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   One of the things I was not expecting along the various trails were some late blooming Subalpine Aster (Eurybia merita) flowers. This was fairly late in the fall season (at this elevation) and I had figured that any wildflowers would have been long gone. Perhaps this spot had much more snow to melt during the summer and consequently the flowers here were a bit behind the others in the area. I had planned on heading back to Artist Point and Heather Meadows the next week. Seasons change quickly in the mountains and this area had so much snow just a few days after my visit they closed to road to Artist point. I’m lucky I made it up there when I did, but I guess other opportunities for hiking there will have to wait until next July/August at the earliest.

For more of my photography from Heather Meadows visit my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Bagley Lakes Panorama

Panorama of the Bagley lakes in the Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA.

bagley lakes fall panorama

Panorama of Bagley Lake (Purchase)

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   You can see this view of Bagley Lakes from the Fire and Ice Trail in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This lake lies between Table Mountain (left) and Mount Herman – the Chain Lakes Trail runs right past it on the way up to Herman Saddle. I still have a lot more in this area to explore with my camera, but I was quite happy to find the lake with these sorts of colours and water levels. On the right you can see where the Chain Lakes Trail goes over a rocky slope that extends right down to the water. Now that my new computer doesn’t choke on larger resolution files, I was able to make this image with two rows of vertical images (35 of them) for the extra resolution which is how I try to shoot all my panoramas now. This worked very well, and I hope to see this one printed in the future.

   The talus slope in the middle of the frame is where I photographed an American Pika a few years back. I could hear a few cheeping their warning calls while I was shooting this panorama but I wasn’t able to spot any of them.

You can view more of my photography from Heather Meadows in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Heather Meadows and the North Cascades

   I made a number of photographs in the Heather Meadows area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington a few weeks ago – too many for one blog post. So, these are the images from Heather Meadows showing some of peaks of the North Cascades looking north. I’ll follow up with another blog post showing some different details in the Heather Meadows area soon.

austin pass lake in heather meadows north cascades

Austin Pass Lake and Mount Larrabee (Purchase)

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   Driving up the Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) brings you to the Mt. Baker Ski area, and then to the Heather Meadows Visitor Center Parking lot. From there a short walk will give a great view of Table Mountain, the Bagley Lakes, Austin Pass Lake and the North Cascade Peaks to the north. The above photo shows Mount Larrabee above Austin Pass Lake. My visit was in early October and the fall coours in the Mountain Ash, Mountain Heather and Blueberry bushes were better than I had seen before.

bagley Lakes in heather meadows north cascades

Bagley Lakes in the North Cascades (Purchase)

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   This view of the Bagley Creek/Bagley Lakes in Heather Meadows shows Mount Larrabee as well as some of the more dramatic American Border Peak to the west.

The Border Peaks and Mount Larrabee from Heather Meadows Picnic Area

Austin Pass / Heather Meadows Picnic Area View (Purchase)

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   On the way into the parking lot at Heather Meadows one passes this picnic table in the Austin Pass Picnic Area with an excellent view of Canadian Border Peak, Tommyhoi Peak, American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee.

heather meadows visitor center volcanic rocks view

Heather Meadows Visitor Center (Purchase)

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   This is a view of the Heather Meadows Visitor Center from the Bagley Lakes trail. As this area is quite near to Mount Baker itself, there is a lot of volcanic rock of various forms around the area. Viewing the larger version of this photograph you can see the top of some Andesite columns. There are many other columns to view in the area especially on the Mt. Baker Highway between Heather Meadows and Artist Point.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Table Mountain from Bagley Lakes Trail

Table Mountain from the Bagley Lakes Trail at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA.

table mountain at bagley lakes mount baker wilderness

Table Mountain at Bagley Lakes (Purchase)

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    This is a photo I made in late September of Table Mountain in the Mount Baker Wilderness. This was along the Bagley Lakes Trail – and was one of the first short hikes I’d done in the area other than walking along the ridge near Artist Point. Being late September I was expecting that there would be few (if any) wildflowers and the Fall colours would be well on their way to starting in the various Vaccinium bushes etc. Everything was still green and the wildflowers were either just past, or still going strong (as was the case for the Lupines). I went hiking there 2 weeks later – and there STILL were hardly any leaves turning. I am curious to see what this year brings for Summer and Fall weather.

American Pika (Ochotona princeps taylori)

american pika ochotono princeps taylori on talus slope
American Pika
(Ochotona princeps taylori)
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   This is a photograph I made of an American Pika (Ochotona princeps taylori) yesterday on the Chain Lakes Trail in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. I walked through the talus next to Bagley lake (4350 feet/1325 meters in elevation) and had not even thought about Pika until I heard the short squeaks of their warning calls. I could then see a few individuals scurrying from their rock perches to safety. This particular Pika came back out to sit on the rock, and I was able to slowly move closer to it to get this photograph. I took many, because you never know when wildlife is going to decide “okay, that is close enough!”. I was reminded of lectures on “Flight Initiation Distance” in University.

Pikas are not quite yet on the endangered species list, though they have come up for consideration recently. The talus slopes they inhabit must be at sufficient elevation to remain cool as the Pikas cannot tolerate warmer temperatures. Trouble is the talus operates a bit like an island, and if the environment becomes undesirable, the Pika can’t easily migrate to another. Climate change has been diminishing the available habitat and this may be one species lost early if the climate change continues. How quickly this may occur is some matter of debate.

Table Mountain and Bagley Lakes

table mountain and bagley lakes

Frequently when I go into Washington State and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest I am in a rush to get either to Picture Lake or Artist Point and completely skip stopping at this view of Table Mountain. Someday I will manage to stop and savour this particular view but I am glad that this photo managed to capture some of the growing sunset in the sky.

Bagley Lakes & Table Mountain

Bagley Lakes and Austin Pass Lake (right) near the Bagley Lakes trail at the Mt. Baker Ski area. Tabletop Mountain is on the left in the first image.

Wildflower below is Tolmie’s Saxifrage ( Saxifraga tolmiei ).

tabletop mountain austin pass lakes tolmies Saxifrage saxifraga tolmiei

bagley lakes

Table Mountain – Mount Baker Wilderness

Tabletop Mountain from the start of the Bagley Lakes trail. I am going to venture further up this trail most likely in late August -as it was closed this early in June. The fact that I went down the hill on my butt for about 6 feet while trying to protect my camera made it clear why the trail was closed. These were taken just off the upper parking lot of Mt Baker Ski Area.

table top mountain  and bagley lakes table top mountain  and bagley lakes

table top mountain  and bagley lakes table top mountain  and bagley lakes

subalpine buttercup bagley creek