Table Mountain reflected in alpine lake along the Mount Baker Scenic Byway

Before leaving the Heather Meadows area, I stopped for a picnic lunch in a parking area adjacent to this small alpine lake.  It featured a perfect reflection of Table Mountain on its mirrored surface.

Another network of hiking trails originates from this parking area.  I elected to walk a short, 1/2-mile, loop trail called the Fire and Ice Interpretive Trail.  This was another easy hike with lots to see and marvel at.

The Fire and Ice Interpretive Trail

Spectacular fall colors along the trail

The heather (green) and huckleberry (red) grow together low to the ground.

These old trees are slow growing in the alpine landscape.

Pearly everlasting

Fire and Ice Interpretive Trail 

Overlooking a lake in the basin below the trail

Interesting water features

I don’t know what gives the waters their interesting colors.

Overlooking another chain of lakes

Mount Shuksan mirrored in Picture Lake

This little lake, appropriately called Picture Lake, is right along the Mount Baker Scenic Byway near the Mount Baker Ski Area.  When I arrived here, I knew the trip was worth it without even getting to the end of the road.  Just look at this classic mountain scene!  I learned that this particular image — Mount Shuksan reflected in the still waters of Picture Lake — is one of the most photographed in all of North America.  You may even have seen it on a calendar somewhere.

There is an easy 1/2-mile trail around the lake, and I enjoyed every step.  The air was fresh and crystal clear.  The fall colors — especially the stained-glass window colors of the low huckleberry  (or possibly blueberry) bushes and the brilliant red clusters of berries on the mountain ash — gave this peaceful spot an unmatched resplendence.

Fall colors on the shores of Picture Lake

Jewel-like colors reflected in the lake

Clusters of red berries on mountain ash

Picture Lake with ski lift on distant mountain


Fireweed and tansy (?) along the road

The low huckleberry bushes glowed like stained glass.

Reeds in the lake — water calligraphy

Dead tree in the meadow by Picture Lake

Another view of Mount Shuksan from across Picture Lake

Fall leaves at Picture Lake