wild flowers


nature trips

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.

Awesome panoramic view of the Cascade.

Great quick stop to view a beautiful waterfalls.

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.

1 month ago

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.

1 month 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!

1 month 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.