A-W Lakes Adventure (Trip) - Grades 6-7

A-W Lakes Adventure (Trip) - Grades 6-7


Sunday, July 22, 2018 - Tuesday, July 24, 2018 (CANCELLED)

This trip is ideal for those who have completed our Baker River Ramble and are ready for more elevation gain, more adventure, and more responsibilities! After a thorough pre-trip meeting, we’ll depart the busyness of Bellingham to head south and east to Baker Lake, then up to the high country and the Anderson-Watson Lakes trailhead.

After a final preparedness check, we'll hoist packs and hike through a lichen-lined ancient hemlock forest and flower-filled meadows toward two jeweled lakes: Anderson and Watson. This trail will gift trekkers with alpine air, stellar views of Mt. Baker (aka Komo Kulshan), undulating ups and downs, mountain wildflowers, cascading creeks, icy lakes to swim in, and so much more (including snow!). The trails between the two lakes and several buttes for climbing offer plenty of day-hike exploring options after we've established a base camp at Anderson Lake or Watson Lake (2 and 3 miles from the trailhead).

Build on backpacking and leadership skills, stretch your edge in new ways, and continue learning how to work together as a team. As we explore these lake shores and mountain meadows, we'll learn about the human and natural history of these alpine areas, glacier dynamics, and continue to teach many of the skills, awareness, and responsibilities that come with wilderness living. Read more here and here.

Beginner Level. Total trip miles: 6 miles with full packs, collaboratively decided additional distance in day hike explorations.


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2018 Itinerary

Sunday, July 22 - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Pre-Trip Meeting (mandatory): Saturday, July 21, 2018. Time: 10:00-1:00PM. Location: Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, Bellingham. Directions. Participants should bring backpack and everything on the gear list they plan to bring on the trip. While this meeting is for participants only, we're happy to fill parents in on everything we discuss!


Meet at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, Bellingham at 9:00AM. Directions. We’ll do a final gear check, then load our packs and ourselves onto the Wild Whatcom bus for a song-singing drive to the Anderson Watson Lakes trailhead, high above Baker Lake.

After lunch, we’ll strap our packs on our backs and begin our ascent through a mossy hemlock forest, and before long will gain spectacular views west toward the mighty Komo Kulshan (Mt. Baker).

After a mountain meadow meander, we’ll reach Anderson Lake, nestled below in a rocky cirque. The group will collaboratively decide whether to set up camp alongside Anderson or forge on to Watson Lake. After setting up our wilderness home, we'll explore the shoreside area until dusk descends. Nighttime will bring its own magic, with a sky bursting with stars you can only see in the far-off places.


After breakfast and morning chores, we’ll shoulder our day packs and roam and ramble over the high country, spending the day exploring this alpine lake basin. Perhaps we’ll venture up to dramatic and rugged Upper Watson Lake or challenge ourselves to gain the views of Shuksan and Baker from Anderson Butte. Regardless of our decision, our focus will be connecting with ourselves, one another, and the wilderness through play, exploration, skill-building and solo time. This is the place to be true explorers, where humans are only visitors, and nature is at its most wild. We’ll return to camp for dinner and stories 'round the fire before climbing into our tents for another night beside lake water lapping, lulling us to sleep.


We’ll spend this final day learning how to leave a place with no traces but our footprints as we pack up camp and say goodbye to the special sights and sounds, peace and play of the mountain wilderness. We’ll take our time heading down the trail, stopping to explore along the way, arriving back at the bus after lunch. It’s likely to be a drowsy drive back to Bellingham, each of us holding the treasures of our experience and a new connection to each other. Parents: plan on a trip report from participants before we unload gear and you whisk them home.

Pick-up: Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, Bellingham. Time: 4:30PM. Directions.

Learning Outcomes: Lessons learned and concepts covered on this adventure include an in-depth exploration of all Wild Whatcom mottos, healthy and supportive interpersonal communication, Leave No Trace (TM) ethics, collaborative leadership development, common sense camping, analyzing hazards and how to mitigate their risk, integrity, dealing with discomfort, exploring how our thinking affects our reality, ecology and botany of lakeshore ecosystems, wilderness awareness, survival priorities, navigation, preparedness, wildlife behavior, human impact on ecosystems, working with and through fears, collaboration and compromise, mountain weather systems,  human and natural history, practicing gratitude, beginning backpacking skills, understanding personal potential, and more!

Participant pre-trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

Trip Training Tips

3 Day Trip Pack List

Essentials of Layering