The Shadow of the Sentinels National Recreation Trail is a level and accessible boardwalk and paved asphalt trail that provides up-close and personal views of majestic trees, moss, lichen, and other forest flora. It is a perfect way for people of all abilities to meander through an ancient forest and see occasional sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. This no-barriers trail is welcoming for wheelchairs and strollers.
The trail winds its way beneath Douglas fir and Western red cedar, some of which are 600 years old. The trail is dotted with viewing platforms and educational displays with information about the surrounding area, forest ecosystem, and natural history of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a shady oasis on a hot summer day and takes on a different feel on a rainy day, when mist shrouds the hillsides.
Situated at 1,000 feet of elevation, the trailhead is usually accessible year-round. It also serves as a Sno-Park in the winter months for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
The trail is a half-mile loop, making it a short trip. Or, for a longer adventure, combine this trail with any number of other short hikes along the Baker Lake Highway.
There are numerous campgrounds lining the western shore of Baker Lake, if you want more time exploring the area. Situated in the middle of the Mount Baker National Recreation area, the trail provides opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, camping, and mountain climbing in the summer as well as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling in winter.
After your hike, pay a visit to 5bs Bakery (5bsbakery.com) in nearby Concrete for homemade, gluten-free baked goods, soup, or sandwiches served in a fun, 1940s atmosphere. In winter, enjoy your baked goods inside with a warm beverage, and during warmer months, on the patio.
Good to Know
Check road conditions before you go by calling the Mount Baker Ranger District at 360.856.5700.
How to Get There:
From Interstate 5, follow State Route 20 east for 22 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway (Forest Service Road 11). Continue on Baker Lake Highway for 15 miles. The trailhead and parking area are on the right, past the Komo Kulshan Guard Station.
Map: Green Trails: Lake Shannon 46
Mount Baker National Recreation Area
A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. When it
is being maintained as a Sno-Park, a Washington State Sno-Park permit is required. parks.state.wa.us/303/Sno-Parks