The race starts in the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Kulshan Campground, where campers can enjoy a free campsite the night before the run. Runners leave the campground and run approximately 1.7 miles to Baker Lake Trail 610. Runners will start on a paved road the first 1/4 mile, then cross the scenic Upper Baker Dam. Once across the dam, the road turns to gravel until runners come to Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Trail 610, south trailhead.
The 14 mile long, single track trail meanders along the east side of Baker Lake with short trips into deep, old growth forest. The trail is rolling, with countless rises and descents, and turns along the hillside. mossy, slippery footbridges are strategically placed to wake the runner from any lapse in concentration. Fresh fallen multicolored maple leaves cover the landscape. Tricky steps across log bridges, and views from bridges over cascading streams, can invite pictures and side trips along the lake.
3 miles in runners will cross Anderson Creek. They will make their 1st major river crossing, luckily the Forest Service has placed a huge log with a sturdy cable along the west side of the log to help keep participants on the log and not in the river, 1/4 mile later is the 1st campground along the route Anderson Camp on the left. Runners will need to stay on the trail to the right.
Maple Grove Campground is the 1st aid station runners will encounter at 5.5 miles. This aid station will only have water. Better stock up here because the next aid is 10 miles at the Hidden Creek Aid Station, the turnaround. Runners stay to the right as the campground is on the left. Are you seeing a trend here, all the campgrounds are on the lake side of the trail?
7.5 miles into your run you will pass Silver Creek Campground. At Noisy Creek, 10 miles from the start, runners will cross a large bridge over the canyon below for a beautiful view of the mountains to the west, Baker Lake, and amazing fauna. Near mile 13.5 of the trail, runners enter the deposits of the Baker River, and at mile 15, runners cross the Baker River Suspension Bridge. From here, one can look to the right, up the Baker River Valley to the mountaintops above, or left, a southerly view of Baker Lake. Once across the bridge, runners head south on a wide horse trail to the Hidden Creek Aid Station at mile 15.5.
At the Hidden Creek aid station, runners can replenish their supplies before they head back to the finish. Aid will include Water, GU2O, Coke, Mt. Dew, sandwiches, cookies, chips, and other ultra-fuel. Runners will also be able to have drop bags taken to Hidden Creek Aid Station. Once they fill up on food and hydration needs, runners have the return 15.5 mile trip, crossing the Baker River Suspension Bridge on the north end, to the Upper Baker Dam on the south end, to complete the 50k.
Click here for road and trail conditions provided by Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.
Click here for Washington Trails Association commentary on trail. Be sure to check the “Recent Trip Reports” at the bottom of the page.