Anderson & Watson Lakes (Trip) - Grades 5-9

Anderson & Watson 2.jpg
Anderson & Watson 2.jpg

Anderson & Watson Lakes (Trip) - Grades 5-9


Monday-Wednesday, July 24-26, 2017 (Sold out. Standby list full.)

New Trip Added! Monday-Wednesday, August 14-16, 2017

Pre-Trip Meeting Trip 1 (mandatory): Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pre-Trip Meeting Trip 2 (mandatory): Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hiking up to Anderson-Watson Lakes is a bit more strenuous than tromping along a riverside, but it is definitely worth it! Not only are there beautiful lakes to cool off in, but Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan stand prominently beside to keep us company. This trip is great for younger backpackers who have a bit more experience in wilderness travel and are up for a little bit more of a physical challenge.

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


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2017 Itinerary

Pre-Trip Meeting (mandatory): Sunday, July 23, 2017. Time: 12:00-3:00PM. Location: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave, 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 Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham at (Time: TBA). We’ll do a final gear check, then load our packs and selves onto the Wild Whatcom bus for a drive down the highway to Sedro-Woolley. We’ll stop by the ranger station to get our permits, then head north on Baker Lake road toward Komo Kulshan (Mount Baker’s original name, which means “Great White Watcher”). Please get a good night's sleep before departure day.

We'll cheer our bus on for the uphill climb to the trailhead, eat lunch, then strap our packs on our backs and begin our walk through hemlocks skirted in heather. This up-and-down trail will take us through marshy meadows, over planked bridges, and through wildflower-strewn meadows until we come to a junction. One way leads to Anderson Lakes, cradled beneath glacier-peaked Mt. Watson, while the other will take us to Watson Lakes, nestled beneath another glacier-clad peak. How will we choose? 

Once we’ve set up shelters and created our camp kitchen, we’ll find the perfect tree to hang our food and go exploring all around our wilderness home. Nighttime will bring its own magic, with a sky bursting with stars you can only see in these far-off places.


After breakfast, morning chores (hanging food, filtering water, making lunch, etc.), we’ll pack up our daypacks and spend this day exploring the other lake basin and hiking like mountain goats up Anderson Butte, the a long-ago site of a fire lookout tower. We will scout for animal tracks, sharpen our earth skills, and discover the ways of the wildlife in this area. 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 in our tents for another night with the 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 mountain wilderness. We’ll take our time heading down the trail, stopping to explore along the way. We'll arrive back at the bus after lunch and be back in Bellingham between 4:00-5:00PM (we’ll call from the road with an exact time). Parents: plan on a trip report from us before we unload gear and you whisk your child home to a shower.

Pick-up: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham between 4:00-5:00PM.

Learning Outcomes: Lessons and concepts developed on this adventure include: in-depth exploration of all Wild Whatcom mottos, deep nature connection, the quiet mind, personal and community empowerment, Leave No Trace (TM) ethics, earth skills, collaborative and singular leadership, positive and negative peer pressure, common sense camping, analyzing hazards and mitigating risk, integrity, Native American history and ethnography, self-care, ecology and botany of local ecosystems, multiple intelligence theory, wilderness awareness, survival priorities, navigation, preparedness, wildlife and their adaptation to humans, working with and through fears, accepting and working with emotions, developing backpacking skills, practicing gratitude, approaching transitions to adolescence, understanding personal potential, and more!

Participant trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

Trip Training Tips

3 Day Trip Pack List