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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.

hiking
6 days ago

The trail is short but the falls are worth the lack of distance. There is a fair amount to explore around the falls as well.

Beautiful little trail for snowshoeing! Had a blast for sure.

backpacking
2 months ago

This hike is so incredible! I've hiked it twice now and I'm always in awe! It's fairly difficult due to the steepness and the distance. But once you get to the top, it's all worth it. You forget all the pain and mosquito bites your endured on the way up. That view is so worth it!

very cool trail. I went in January and the water seemed quite high, it was beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

Well intended hike, rain and fog closed us in, great exercise with out a view, will return at a later date

We got about halfway up before getting into the snow. By about mile 4 the snow was up to our hips and we were all tuckered out. We would have gone farther if we'd had our snowshoes.

Three starts for seasonal weather, great trail, tons of snow. Had to park 2.5 miles from trial head. Trail completely covered in up to 2 feet of snow. Not an easy hike in November. Great challenge and a ton of fun. Will hike again this summer. Pro tip: bring chains, snowshoes, and a GPS.

I did this hike on November 3,2017. The main road on baker is clean and easy to drive however, once you get off the main road and take the trail road it is not clear and there is a lot of snow. Must be confident driving backcountry in snow. I took my Subaru Outback and was okay taking it slow, 1 more foot of snow an I probably wouldn't make it to the trail head. Be prepared to snow shoe. I recommend snowshoes or it's going to be a grueling hike. Beautiful scenery! Must do in the summer as well.

hiking
5 months ago

Astoundingly gorgeous. There was a little snow on the ground starting off in the morning, and by the time I got back in the afternoon the forest had changed completely. I went into a fall hike and came out of a winter hike. You’ll definitely want to bring trekking poles as there’s a small area that’s a fall hazard and you need to tread carefully. Visibility was maybe 600yards or so, and gave a creepy/beautiful winter vibe. The reds and greens of the forest mixed with the white snow are gorgeous.

As far as I could tell, I was the only person out there today (Only car in lot, the only other tracks I saw were rabbits).

Snow is about a foot on the actual ridge. I wouldn’t do this hike without waterproof hiking boots now. In a couple weeks, I imagine you’d want traction devices and gaiters too.

On my way back, there were multiple large downed branches I had to break through or driver over. Sagging plants from the snow brushed against my car where they weren’t before. If you have a 2wd drive car with a paint job you care about I’d wait till the snow clears in the spring.

hiking
5 months ago

Windy and cool, not cold, at the top on 10.29.17. Light snow on the ground, no spikes necessary yet. Phenomenal views of Baker, Shucksan, Table Mtn, Koma Kulshan, and more.

Awesome panoramic view of the Cascade.

Great quick stop to view a beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best hikes I've been on. Amazing views once you reach the ridge. There are several knolls to your right, if you keep pushing through them you come right up to the foothills of baker.

Up, up, up. The hike lives up to its name - Excelsior "ever upward". But so worth it at the top. 360 degree views including Mt. Baker.

backpacking
7 months ago

Super fun hike but once you get above the tree line there's very little shade and no streams, at least I couldn't find any, so make sure your pups have lots of water! Saw a bear too which was pretty cool!

hiking
7 months ago

This was an awesome hike! We left Everett a little after 6 am on and were on the trail about 8:45. This is a hike that you want to get to early in my opinion. The only ones we saw heading down were the ones that spent the night. When it was our turn to head down there were tons of people. This a great place to explore with all the little knolls and such. We made it to the sixth one at about 11:15 ish and were back at the vehicle by 1:30ish. There were bugs but none of them were biting and I didnt even use bug spray.

Sadly there are so may bad drivers on the road. The downhill vehicle as the right of way where as its the uphill hiker that has the right away with another hiker.

Awesome hike. Super challenging and long. Can cautiously bring dogs. Wonderful view in meadow of mountains. Couldve went longer but on time crunch. Could camp out in meadows.

hiking
8 months ago

Eclipse day, we hiked through all the knolls. Left trailhead at 5:30 am and saw no one till nearly 8. They were sleeping in tents off the first fork. Ate lunch on the last knoll and then saw a few folks heading up as we went down. Took the dog, it is beautiful up there! No flies until around 10 am and way too many flies on the hike down! Yikes.
10.4 miles

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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.

Trail starts out beautiful and very quickly gets confusing. A little trial and error and you can figure it out. The falls were beautiful and well worth the short hike. We were at the falls much quicker than expected. Over a few logs and walking on the rocks of the creek bed. The creek was still running but at a much lower level than in heavier rain seasons.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful views and not too crowded. Highly recommend.

july 4th. heather meadows is still snowed in.

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