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The Mt. Baker Wilderness is 117,900 acres, created as part of the Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984. Mt. Baker is an active glacier covered volcano in the Cascades standing at 10,778 feet, making it the fourth highest summit in Washington and the dominant attraction of this wilderness. Thirteen glaciers cover the mountain and shares the landscape with other popular climbing destinations: Twin Sister Range, Tomyhoi Peak, and Ruth Mountain. It is accessible by more than 50 miles of trail. The Mt. Baker Wilderness borders the North Cascades National Park on the east and the Canadian border on the north. Mt. Baker National Recreation Area encompasses the southern slope of Mt. Baker. The designated wilderness area is located on the western slopes of the Cascades and shares about 20 miles of border with the national park. Here, high-elevation lakes and tarns dot the region, surrounded by natural alpine meadows and rocky peaks rising to elevations of 6,000 to 8,000 feet. Mt. Baker towers thousands of feet above the rest. Forests of Douglas fir, true fir, cedar, western hemlock and mountain hemlock carpet lower elevations. More than 16 square miles of glaciers carve and reshape the land, with the resulting ridges of jagged stone dissected by a web of frigid rivers and streams that comprise the Nooksack and Skagit river systems, the area's two major drainages. This harsh landscape attracts extreme weather: Mt. Baker Ski Area recorded the world-record snowfall of 1,140'' during the 1998-99 winter. Precipitation on the top of Mt. Baker sometimes reaches 150 inches a year. Many of the drainage's open into heather-filled meadows showcasing summer alpine wildflowers, huckleberries and blueberries. You may find Devil's club, salmonberry, skunk cabbage and ferns lining the banks of creeks and rivers. Black bears, black-tailed deer and mountain goats in the rocky high country are the wildlife you may encounter. Mountain climbers visit Mt. Baker in spring and summer before fall opens numerous large crevasses. Hundreds of climbers may be seen on the mountain in a single day. The Heliotrope Ridge Trail #677 winds 2.7 miles to the Coleman Glacier, the most popular climbing route on the mountain. A well-developed and very busy trail system provides access to the lower country.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

This is our 4th hike up Excelsior Pass in the past eight weeks ... moving higher as snow disappeared. Yesterday we made it to the Peak. Beautiful and few bugs.

Beautiful falls, no trail! When you pull off the road and drive down the gravel road you end at a parking lot. The falls are basically right there. I'd say this is a must see but it's not a hike, make it a pit stop on the way to another hike.

I came out to Washington from Vermont to do some hiking in the Northern Cascades. I went to Skyline Divide and only hiked about 1.5 miles before having to turn around due to the flies. It was not enjoyable because in order to not have at least 30 bugs swarming, we had to RUN! I would love to come back and try this hike again, but definitely not in these conditions. Not to mention- the smoke also made visibility very poor.

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing trail and great views, except for right now the forest fire smoke is very thick and the horse flys are out en mass.

I have hiked this many times and highly recommend the hike. It's best on a clear day.

The road has been recently been redone and could be suitable for cars, some potholes but passable.

hiking
21 days ago

Good climbing trail, a cardio builder. Took us around two hours 15 minutes to high divide. As far as climbing trails go, not too shabby.

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

The road is now passable. I didn't enjoy it in my compact car (4 wheel drive or high clearance would have helped), but I made it. The trail is in good condition (in part thanks to some WTA workers this weekend). There are a number of available side trails, some showing on the topo map, some that don't. I enjoyed going around the endpoint shown on this map to the east and south--beautiful meadows and a great view of Mount Baker. The wildflower-filled meadows are a beautiful complement to the icy peak above you.

The trailhead seemed pretty busy--20 cars when I arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday morning and more than 30 when I left at 1:30. Everyone was pretty spread out, though, and the many view points and side trails meant that while it wasn't solitary, it wasn't crowded.

Dog friendly. Lots of flies.

hiking
22 days ago

Incredible views, too many peaks and waterfalls to count. Black flies were a bother, but well worth the trip. Excellent day hike, strenuous but a gradual gain for the first part of the trail.

hiking
24 days ago