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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.

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.

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
21 days 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.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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.