Snowfields will impede progress, but are negotiable without an ice ax in the later summer months.
From this trail's intersection with the Chain Lakes Trail
, turn left and descend at an alarming rate along the side of the ridge with ever more spectacular views of Mt. Baker. This section contains some of the most spectacular views of Baker in the region - nothing but a valley and a ridgeline separates the runner from the volcano. This section of trail is also lovely, with brilliantly colored moss and wildflowers in season along with tiny rivulets and small streams.
About 1 mile from the trail junction - dependent on the time of year, snowmelt, etc. - scramble up the permanent snowfield to a saddle in the ridgeline, trading the views of Mt. Baker for spectacular views toward Mt. Shuksan. Follow the trail as it continues up and then along the side of the ridge, first through heather and huckleberry bushes and then along the exposed rocky side of the ridge. A mile beyond the saddle, arrive at viewpoint of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker. This is an excellent place to turn around for a 3.5-mile run back to the trailhead.
Continuing along the side of the ridge, the trail rounds Coleman Pinnacle about a mile later. Views here are jaw-dropping of Mt. Baker, with nothing but a valley between the runner and the big mountain. The glaciers are especially spectacular, along with an occasional waterfall. Runners can turn around here or continue through meadows and low trees to a meadow a half mile later, or continue even further with more spectacular views of Mt. Baker and surrounding scenery.