Chain Lakes Trail – Mt Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest
(Trail Brew) Tidal Series Harvest Saison – Vancouver Island Brewing
On October 21st, 2018 I had the pleasure of joining 4 women on a hike to Chain Lakes Trail also known as Chain Lakes Loop at Mount Baker. I met one backpacking up at Cathedral Provincial Park a few years back and became fast friends over craft beer and hiking. The other three women are all part of the same hiking group and I had met and hiked with one of them on a previous occasion.
To get to this trail you will have to remember your passport if you come from Canada. We met up in Abbotsford near Sumas border crossing. Carpooling is always the best way to get across the line as the border can be a nightmare and its always better with company. I was only a passanger on this trip so I do not know the route we took but we drove to Artist Point parking lot. This is in the Mt Baker Ski Area so you can not park as far up the road in the Winter. We got very lucky as the weather was beautiful and there was no snow on the ground. The loop we took is best done with two cars as it can remove some of the stair master. Do not forget that you need a parking pass for National Forests in the United States so make sure to pick one up before you get to the parking lot.
We started our hike on Table Mountain before hitting the Chain Lakes Loop. The trail is 4km round trip with an elevation gain of 220 meters so be prepared to add this to the distance of Chain Lakes. It starts at the same parking lot at Artist Point. Table Mountain is a steep short hike up to the peak. The views on the way up the trail is spectacular with the trail hugging the side of a cliff at parts. It did not take long for us to summit this peak.
With this side quest done we headed back towards the parking lot to meet up with the Chain Lakes train head.
Now on the Chain Lakes trail you will rise and fall alone a nice trail. The trail loop is 13km roughly but we did a bit less with our shuttling of cars. The elevation gain is 520 meters but I do not think that this accumulated elevation gain but only difference in elevation from low to high point. You will hike past multiple lakes such as Iceberg Lake, Hayes Lake and Bagley Lake. Passing Iceberg Lake you rise up a ridge to the high point of the trail before you drop back down to the lower Bagley Lake. This is really beautiful alpine and well worth hiking through.
Hiking with a beer makes for a much better day especially when you can share it with some friends. This is an amazing hike so it only makes sense to bring a tasty brew.
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With the end of Summer already past and the weather on the cusp of changing I thought it was only fitting to bring a beer with me that represented the harvest. I brought two cans of Vancouver Island Brewing’s “Tidal Series Harvest Saison” to share with the group. Vancouver Island Brewing is located in Victoria BC. The beer pours a deep cloudy orange colour with a white head. The aroma consists of cranberry, berries, citrus, floral hops and a sweet finish. The flavour is of cranberry, orange, berries, sweetness, spice, saison yeast, grains, herbal hops, mild resin and some bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.8% with an IBU of 23. I really enjoyed this brew on the ridge we were having lunch on. It seemed that all of us enjoyed the brew with our lunches.
Commercial Description: A harvest beer built with the twilight of summer, and dawn of fall in mind. This rustic saison pairs perfectly with the spicy, complex flavours of quince, while the addition of tart cranberry, and hearty spelt herald the fall season.
Disclaimer: Drinking while excising and hiking can be dangerous and can put you in serious danger or lead to your death. These posts do not recommend that you drink while you hike but if you decide too make sure to be a responsible adult.