From Bellingham, Washington, drive east on State Route 542 56.00 miles/90.00 km to the Austin Pass parking lot on the left
Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent for U.S. Forest Service sites. (Although the Lower Curtis Glacier Trail crosses into the North Cascades National Park, the trail originates in national forest and requires only a national forest pass and not a national park pass.)
This page profiles the Lake Ann located in Whatcom County, Washington; several other lakes of the same or similar name can be found throughout the Cascades.
What Lake Ann itself lacks in character is more than compensated for by its dramatic setting at the base of Mount Shuksan’s steepled western wall, festooned with dramatically sculpted glaciers creeping inexorably toward their cliffside finales. The trail follows the mountainous ridge extending northwest from Mount Shuksan, known as the Shuksan Arm, into a grassy basin spattered with ponds and streams before climbing steeply to the adjoining saddle that cradles Lake Ann. From the lake, a short side trail zigzags up the mountain’s pitched slope to the Lower Curtis Glacier, affording an intimate view of the glacier’s jagged edge and a bird’s-eye glimpse of the Baker River Valley beyond. Given its ease of access, unique features, and available campsites, the trail is a popular late summer and autumn hike — expect to encounter a few others on the way and along the lakeshore, especially on weekends.