Camping at Baker Lake

A month ago I decided to do something I never thought I would – go camping by myself. I did not grow up camping and it kind of terrifies me (why do the normal rules of society not apply in the woods? what’s to stop someone from coming into my unlocked tent?). But after spending a day out on Diablo Lake, I felt inspired to go explore.

I booked one night at the Panorama Point campground. Located on the western shore of Baker Lake, this quiet campground has a gorgeous day-use area right off of the water and several car-camping sites.

Here’s what I wrote at the time of camping:

I am currently camping by myself at the Panorama Point Campground on Baker Lake. It has been a whirlwind of emotions today on this mini trip, as well as over the last two days. Yesterday brought dread, anxiety, and stress over work. Work finished early (around 0130 instead of 0230) which was a relief. I was both nervous and excited for this trip. Nervous to camp alone, excited for a little adventure to a new place. It is gorgeous out here. The campground is nestled in the mountains, surrounded by a richly colored blue-green lake. Rain showers have been rolling in and out all afternoon, leaving behind the most magnificent clouds and fog interspersed between the piney mountains.

I drove out to the Baker River trailhead but I didn’t hike due to not having the proper day pass. I did pull off on the side of the road a few times. I stopped and wandered along a rushing, turquoise-blue river in a valley, a river encircling a small island of trees, and a bridge over a mostly dry riverbed. Around this bend in the road I had a brief but stunning view of Mount Baker in it’s entirety. I have never seen it so close up, it’s vast white snowy peak extending on upwards into the sky. It was amazing.

I walked the half-mile, paved “Shadow of the Sentinels” trail beneath the massive trees. All of these moments were woven in with bits of frustration- forgetting to pack the tent poles (I attempted to rig up a shelter using bungee cords and a jump rope but no dice), attempting and failing to inflate a paddle board, hitting several potholes in the road, and my right achilles hurting. But I also ate dinner on a rock looking across the glassy water and foggy, evergreen-covered mountains. It’s so peaceful out here.

{The next morning}

I didn’t sleep well, but I didn’t sleep too bad. It’s about 0530, daylight breaking through. I slept in my car last night, my sleeping pad wedged into the backseat and my comforter and pillow creating a small, cozy fort. It rained literally all night non-stop. I went to bed at 2100, slept and hour, woke up, went back to sleep, woke up again for an hour or so, and then slept a couple more hours before getting up around 0445. I dozed lightly. The car was warmer than expected and pretty comfortable besides not being able to fully stretch out a ton. It is a little wet and stuffy now after a full night of me breathing in it and the rain.

The mountains and water are still draped in a beautiful layer of fog. I love the early morning when the rest of the world is asleep, and nature is waking up. I made a French press of coffee and drank it on a secluded bench looking out at the lake. My right achilles still hurts but hopefully it’ll warm up with some movement.

{The end of the day}

I ended up walking the sentinels trail again, and then attempting to walk part of the Baker Lake Trail. This trail is quite long in totality. I intended to go for four miles or so, but my foot pain did not die down. So frustratingly I just drove home. Overall I had a nice time and do not regret this trip, but I recommend not forgetting tent poles when camping đŸ™‚

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