Up until 2015, Lower Sandy Beach was a relatively obscure and undesignated day use area on the northwest shore of Baker Lake with no official signage. Still obscure, Hoodoo Recreation Services, the concessionaire operating all of the campgrounds within Baker Lake National Recreation Area, has now started charging a day use and overnight camping fee for the area. Plans to upgrade the campsites to a non-primitive status are still unknown, but what is known is how lovely this hidden spot is on a sunny summer weekend.
For potable water and boat access head to nearby Horseshoe Cove Campground.
Note: Lower Sandy Beach and Campsites are typically open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Call Hoodoo Recreation Services at 541.338.7869 for seasonal updates and more information. Follow driving directions closely, as the turnoff from Baker Lake Road for NF-1122 is only marked by a relatively small sign for "Lower Sandy Road 1122."
Once a low-lying flat with a small lake, extremely dense old-growth and wetland marshes, Baker Lake was flooded and submerged by over 300 feet in 1959 with the construction of the Upper Baker Dam. Today, the elongated reservoir at the base of Mount Baker (10,781') and Mount Shuksan (9,131') is still surrounded by magnificent old-growth conifer forest (dominated by Douglas fir, western redcedar and western hemlock) and measures roughly 9 miles in length.
Extremely popular among locals for its fishing and motorized boating, the National Recreation Area fills to capacity during the summer months, and campsites can be difficult to claim at all 10 of the reservoirs established and reservable campgrounds, including (from north to south):
The reservoir also provides four additional boat/hike-in campgrounds/sites on its southeastern shore that are accessible by boat/kayak and the South Baker Lake Trail. From north to south:
According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Baker Lake is
open to fishing from the 4th Saturday in April to October 31. Fishing in this Baker River reservoir (Baker Lake) can be excellent for kokanee in April, May, and June and again in the fall. There is a six-inch minimum, 18-inch maximum size limit on trout and kokanee. An expanding sockeye population may provide frequent fishing opportunities in the future. The duration and timing of the sockeye fishery varies with in-season abundance. Baker Lake is closed to the taking of bull trout/Dolly Varden. Additionally, a radius of 200 feet surrounding the pump discharge at the south end of the lake is closed to all fishing.