Horseshoe Bend Trail

Mount Baker Area, Washington

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Horseshoe Bend Trail


  • Beginning of the Horseshoe Bend Trail.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Log jam in the North Fork of the Nooksack River.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Stairs along the Horseshoe Bend Trail.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Boardwalk along the Horseshoe Bend Trail.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Shelf fungi.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • The North Fork of the Nooksack River rushes around boulders.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Riverside cairn at the rocky beach area.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • Mossy trees reaching across Horseshoe Bend Trail.- Horseshoe Bend Trail
  • - Horseshoe Bend Trail
Overview + Weather
Rushing river views. Old-growth forest.
No defined destination.
Mount Baker Area, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
980.00 ft (298.70 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Short and easy, the Horseshoe Bend Trail is an excellent choice for families, dog-walkers, and campers staying across the street at Douglas Fir Campground. It's also a nice way to break up the drive from Bellingham to Artist Point, as it is a quick leg stretch that is accessible year-round. 

Horseshoe Bend Trail follows the North Fork of the Nooksack River for a few miles through old-growth forest. While the trail doesn't lead to a destination per se, at 0.6 miles you will find the former site of a stone bench where the Nooksack puts on quite a show as it crashes over and around huge rocks. A little further up, a rocky beach provides river access. Visit during rainy months when the river is really raging, or come in the summer to watch rafters and kayakers braving the rapids.

The trail continues for an additional 2 miles or so, but it gradually becomes more overgrown. The trail ascends after the first mile, passing under power lines and a mostly obstructed view of Church Mountain. If you're interested in going the distance, climb to your heart's content.

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Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(24 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(44 within a 30 mile radius)

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