Baker Lake and Island Mountain

Trip Date: August 11 – 13th, 2020

On this trip, we spent three days and two nights overlanding and camping in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. This was our summer vacation 2020 camping and it was a great week to get out into the remote mountains and enjoy some relaxing time away from the hustle of city/suburban life.

The first night we headed out to Baker Lake, a place we had visited many times before. Baker Lake is situated in the shadow of Mount Baker and is a popular spot for folks to go for hiking, backpacking and camping adventures. This particular time happened to be the busiest we had ever seen it! Despite the crowds, we still found an open dispersed camping spot in one of the prime camping spots we had scouted on previous visits.

Watch the Day #1 of 3 youtube video to see more about our stay at Baker Lake.

Watch the Day #1 video to see more about our stay at Baker Lake

The second day we left Baker Lake in the morning and hit the road, heading east on Washington State Hwy 20. Soon we were in the North Cascades National Park, a huge recreational area preserve with over 500,000 acres of mountains and valleys, extending all the way to the border with Canada. We followed the highway up along the Skagit River, going past Gorge, Diablo and Ross Lakes, deep in the mountains of the North Cascade Range. We stopped and got a few pictures at the Lake viewpoints and take in the sights, and then continued our trip East, out of the national park. Further exploration of the park will have to wait for another trip. We continued on, looking to find a campsite on the second night that was well away from other people.

Watch the Day #2 video to see the North Cascades National Park and our camping stop for the second night

Next, we decided to explore North, up the Chewuch river valley, a great access point to get into the Okanogan National Forest. After turning north off Hwy 20 in Winthrop, Washington, things quickly turned into remote forest, spotted with campgrounds and picnic areas. The forest here was open, with grass under most of the trees and wide open fields interspersed down the valleys. Driving on the gravel roads up into the mountains provided great views of the Okanogan Forest landscape as well as great distance views of the North Cascades to the west. We made a quick stop at Buck Lake and continued exploring, looking for a dispersed campsite in the woods to spend the night. A road spur on Island Mountain made for an excellent second night campsite and was exactly what we were looking for.

Some photos from this trip are below:

Other Outings

Leave a Comment