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Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking

Mount Baker Area, Washington

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Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking

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  • A view of the 285-foot Lower Baker Dam.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • A small tree grows out of a stump in Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • One of many underwater stumps found in Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • An abandoned structure on the southeast shore of Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Mount Shuskan (9127') looms over to the north of Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Looking south at the barrier to the Lower Baker Dam. Leonard Ridge is in the distance.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Paddling through the narrow channel in central Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Exploring the Bear Creek inlet.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • A small dock on the western shore of Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • A pair of startled geese take flight.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • The maze-like reeds that populate parts of northern Lake Shannon.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Attempting to paddle upstream near Rocky Creek. Here the current from the dam makes progress extremely difficult.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Taking a break on a small rocky beach just downstream of Rocky Creek.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • A friendly frog swam by and hung out in the sun for a bit.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Navigating through a grouping of old stumps. Use caution in these areas as many stumps lie just below the surface of the water.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • The cooling afternoon air causes increased winds, which create larger surface waves.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Taking a break in the shade of the Thunder Creek inlet.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Mount Shuskan (9,127') in the afternoon sun.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Getting a great view of both Mount Baker (10,781') and Mount Shuskan (9,127') in the late afternoon sun.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
  • Mount Baker (10,781') as setting sun lights up the haze from the not-too-distant fires.- Lake Shannon Sea Kayaking
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Quiet lake. Low usage.
Cons: 
Remote. Few services nearby. Hidden stumps in the water.
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Region:
Mount Baker Area, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

Lake Shannon provides an excellent alternative to the much busier Baker Lake to the north.

Located directly downriver of Baker Lake, Lake Shannon was created in 1925 with the construction of the Lower Baker Dam. The nearby town earned its name from the many lime deposits found around the mouth of the Baker River that were used to process cement in the town's cement plant. Today, the Lower Baker Dam produces 79 megawatts of power for the Puget Sound Energy company, which in turn allows free access to Lake Shannon.

Directly west of the boat launch is backcountry campsite at the base of a ravine. Continuing northbound, the lake narrows to a small channel. The Bear Creek inlet sits to the northwest of the channel. Further up the lake a series of maze-like reeds can provide a unique exploratory detour, or they can be avoided altogether by following the eastern shore. The current from the outflow of the Upper Baker Dam begins to be noticeable and can become quite swift near Rocky Creek, requiring furious paddling just to maintain position.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(18 within a 30 mile radius)

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(43 within a 30 mile radius)

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