PNT day 47 – Swift Creek Trail & Baker Lake Trail
Swift Creek Trail Camp (798.2) to Silver Creek Camp (819.9)
When I woke up everything was wet and damp. I already had some practice with packing up my stuff inside my tent and I think I am quite good at it.
I started hiking and my feet were wet within minutes. It didn’t matter to me as I was heading towards a serious river ford. In about 5 miles I had to cross the river to the other side. A remark on the maps said that the ford was potentially dangerous early in the season after heavy rain. Well, I wasn’t early in the season but it was constantly raining until I got to the river. What I thought would be a pleasant downhill turned out to be a lot more challenging than I thought. Everything was wet and slippery and one time it got me and I landed on my butt. Ouch!
Arriving at the river I assessed the situation and looked for the best spot to cross. There was a piece of wood between stones where others must have crossed without getting their feet wet. But the stones looked way too slippery to me to make it a save crossing. I picked a good spot and just eased through the river. It wasn’t too bad at all.
The trail was even easier on the other side and so I paced the last two miles towards a forest road. I had to cross another raging river but this time a log bridge with a handrail was installed for crossing.
I arrived at the forest road which I would follow for another two miles or so until I would hit Baker Lake Road. Just in time the sun came out and I was hoping to find a good spot at the lake to dry my tent.
The forest road merged with Baker Lake Road at a not so nice drive-in campground and I was welcomed by some people who held their aggressive dogs until I was past their campspot. I got onto Baker Lake Road and settled for a five miles walk on the unpaved road. As it was the weekend the side of the lake was busy with weekenders and nearly every possible campspot was taken.
I hiked on after a fifteen minutes break for lunch and halfway drying my tent and got to the trailhead of Baker River around 4:30.
The trail along the river was well-used and wider than normal. I crossed over a big wooden bridge and hit the Baker Lake Trail. I had about four to five miles to my dedicated campsite. The trail along the shore of the lake led through a rain forest with lots of ferns and big trees. I enjoyed the nice trail and was surprised when at the end of the day I found no one at Silver Creek Camp. It was a nice campground with platforms for the tent, a picnic table and a bear locker and further away a pit toilet. I would have expected someone camping here at the weekend. Well, good for me! I selected the best campsite, set up tent and had dinner with lake view. If there were no clouds I could even see Mt. Baker! Maybe tomorrow?
It always amazes me how just a mile or two of walking will thin the day trippers from the camp sites.