Heliotrope Ridge Trail

HARD 103 reviews
#7 of 85 trails in

Heliotrope Ridge Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Deming, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,896 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

snow

In 2013 there was a washout on the access road. it is possible that this road is still out. this adds a 7 mile hike to get to the trailhead. Call the Glacier Service Center before planning a trip on this trail. (360) 599-2714

hiking
5 days ago

July 12th, 2018: Excellent hike! The road to the trailhead was totally clear of snow and debris, though quite covered with potholes. The trail is a steady moderate climb with several stream crossings for roughly the first two miles, then breaks the tree line shortly after there is a fork for hikers and climbers. The hiking trail from here on out is more steep with lots of scree to keep things interesting. We were able to reach just below the highest point on the ridge but didn’t make the last 100 feet or so due to some residual snow. Wonderful view of the glacier, the valley below, and the surrounding mountains. Weather was perfectly warm and there was little wind, even at the top. A great hike that I’ll hopefully do again soon!

9 days ago

First the road is not that bad. I’m sure in spring it’s a mess. It after mid June this road is very passable for all vehicles just watch for potholes etc. The trail itself is not hard. I am an asthmatic with no right ACL and this trail didn’t pose a problem for me. What makes it hard is the immediate climb after the first bridge crossing followed by switchbacks that last until the first water crossing. There are 4 of them by the way, well at least this year so far as it was a heavy snow year. The last two are the more dangerous ones. I found that if you walk a little mower along the bank you will find a shallower manageable pool. There are a lot of vistas but wow! Is all I have to say when you get to the glacier. I was fortunate I had a blue sky day and Mt. Baker was amazing as was the glacier. This trail does split just below the fourth crossing to the right is the climbers route for the Baker summit and to the left is the overlook.

Con... this hike is rated at 5.5 miles out and back. Wrong!!! Try closer to 7 miles.

11 days ago

Great hike! Stream crossings are exciting and can be hazardous, trekking poles are very helpful. In the end, you are rewarded with the most amazing glacier view!

18 days ago

amazing hike, be prepared for a lot of snow crossings, and pay before you drive up the rather crazy rough entrance road (cars not recommended). also, at the first bridge section you will have to cross a massive fallen tree from the last storm

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike with several stream and snow crossings. Did not make it to the end as the trail was sun covered and we couldn’t locate it past where we stopped. Fun hike. Definitely hiking shoes and poles. Road to trail is paved for most of the way with potholes. Lots of climbers on the trail

hiking
1 month ago

To make it to the top of Baker, be trained in standard mountaineering practices: crevasse rescue, self arrest and be roped in to an experienced team. This is not a technical climb but it can be dangerous because of crevasses and avalanche risk. Use a guide service if you don’t have experience.

1 month ago

Gorgeous hike to Base Camp with the Summit coming in and out of view of the clouds. 3 hours up starting at 9am, 2 hours glissading/ hiking down. Have boots and poles for sure for the sleep hike up the snow. The river crossing wasn’t too bad but snow bridges look a little sketchy. Some fallen trees but clear paths around them. Muddy and snow slushy at parts. Maybe 20 cars in the lot. Partially paved partially gravel road with potholes.

1 month ago

Great hike, if you are trying to reach the top then you definitely need boots with traction for the snow. I recommend walking poles, expect it to be a bit chilly and windy. Steep climb but do it on a day where it's nice and sunny.

backpacking
1 month ago

A beautiful view awaits you at the end. I couldn't stop taking pictures! Can get windy, so dress warm.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a super intense hike, lots of rushing glacial river crossings and loose rocks. But it's beautiful! So much fun!

9 months ago

It was a great day. There was about 6 inches of snow at the top less at the bottom. The creeks/ streams easy to cross with all the snow. Brought microspikes but didn't need them. My friend used it but she lost one pair

hiking
9 months ago

Oct 6: road up to trailhead is fine, a car should be able to make it if they just avoid the few big potholes.

The trail itself is just moderate difficulty until you hit the last stream crossing. Today the stream wasnt large but rock hopping was too treacherous since so many rocks were covered with ice. We found a shallow section and walked through it.

After the stream it gets more difficult with the last little bit up to the ridge being almost a scramble. Certainly worth it as you get a great view of the glacier and can even hear it crack.

We saw no significant wildlife though im told there are often mountain goats around and there was goat poopies near the top. Also saw a pile of feathers where im sure some bird became a meal.

9 months ago

Loved this trail!! Brought sandals to cross the last stream as the water was running fast and we could not find a path to cross on rocks. The hike was overall pretty easy other than the last water crossing!

hiking
10 months ago

Next to Kendall Katwalk on Snoqualmie Pass, this was my absolute favorite trail to date. An incredible trail takes you up a long incline through heavy canopy for about a mile, then across several water crossings (the first, a trickle, the next three moderate), and switchbacks, where at 2.4 miles, you can choose between the opportunity to view Coleman Glacier up close (and traverse a difficult water crossing), or turn right and head upwards onto the "climber's path", a 600 foot near vertical climb across 0.4 miles to the ridge. At the halfway point of the climber trail, the view of Baker, it's glaciers, moraines, and a panorama at near 5,500 feet is breathtaking. Do NOT miss this very popular and utterly worthwhile trail if you are in the Mount Baker area!!

10 months ago

Love this hike! You have to ford/cross several rivers which is really cold and also very nice. At the end is a very nice glacier! You are all probably thinking "so it's a boring glacier, who cares" but it is totally awesome and is even bluer than in the pictures!!! Very pretty, and very very cold. Excellent hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Very nice trail with a few river crossings and spectacular views of the glacier. We went past the spot where most people had lunch and than turned around. It becomes a little tricky because of the steepness and all the loose rock. We made it to a boulder on top of a point. The views were stunning.

hiking
11 months ago

great hike! I would say more moderate than hard, but a nice little workout. the last water crossing was fairly challenging, but it was also a hot day (so maybe more water).

hiking
11 months ago

This hike did not disappoint. Glacial views were unreal - you could practically kiss Mt. Baker! If you turn around you will see silhouettes from other mountains. Should be labeled moderate for the gain, however crossing the rushing creeks can be meticulous. Be aware of hiking in the afternoon on a hot day while crossing isn't advised, though I made it. Bring a trekking pole for aid as loose sturdy sticks are few & far between. On the 8mi drive up, be aware of sneaky potholes. You can buy your day pass at the forest station in Glacier before the turn off of 542.

hiking
11 months ago

It's an awesome trail, beautiful glacier

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beautiful trail. A bit challenging, but nothing too crazy.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Hiked today to Heliotrope ridge.
Road to trailhead is in excelent condition and mostly paved with asphalt, so you can get there at any vehicle. We arrived around 2 pm since we thought it would be less clouds after noon, but weather today was mostly cloudy and foggy. We didn't see even mt Baker. It was around 7/8 cars at trailhead.
Trail itself is ok, but very wet and muddy all the way, waterproof boots is a must. I brought a lot of gear, but used hiking poles only, espcially it might be helpfull to cross big creek in the middle of trail. Snow begins at second half of the trail and it looks packed pretty well, I postholed just twice. Once we left forest we were fooled with footprints to the climbing route and climbed couple slopes up, after that we've seen glacier from left side of us and went there through snow fields, which is feels packed well, but there are some streams underneeeth, so be careful anyway. When we reached glacier view point we ate put lunch, took some photos of glacier and marmot and went down. Definetelly need to come back here with good weather

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My favorite hike so far. Definitely worth the effort.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

After I learned the Skyline Divide trail was inaccessible, I came up here for a hike. Most people park along the road leading up to the trailhead, which does have parking spots but is hard to access.
The trail is a bit muddy/wet (due to snowmelt) or snowy, depending on where you are on it. There are plenty of footprints on the trail to follow up until you break through the treeline. At that point, the footprints on the snow went in several directions. Luckily I had a GPS to help me re-find the trail and forge a path to the glacier overlook. I stopped on a large outcropping with a clear view of the glacier. Be warned that the snowfields you have to cross can be steep at times, so take your time going up.

Otherwise, a gorgeous day for a hike (or skiing, if you want!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I did this years ago and it's my favorite so far in this area! Now that I'm in better shape this is my goal!! Doing soon!!

hiking
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nov 15, 2016 - we arrived well prepared for anything but pulling into the trail head parking lot with no snow in sight and the rain coming down, we figured we could leave our snowshoes behind. Started in rain jackets, turned to a light snow for a few minutes and then the sun came out about halfway in and the fog disappeared! We hit snow in the last 30 minutes but hikers were sufficient and poles kept us upright when crossing the rivers and dodging icy rocks. The big river crossing was a breeze compare to when I hiked this in July. Gorgeous to see the glacier with snow all around! Took us about 1.5 hours up, same heading back down as we were a bit more cautious descending the snow section. I consider this a pretty easy hike for elevation, good one to take if you don't have time for a long day or your taking someone newer hiking (provided they are ok with the river crossing) The trail was well maintained and very easy to follow in the tree covered areas. It will be harder to see in the snowy open areas so keep this in mind! The road was in pretty good condition. My Honda Civic had no issues.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A very well beaten path leads you to the glacier overview. We started the hike later in the day and still made it back before the temperature dropped too much. There are a few river crossings, the farthest of them is by far the most difficult but it looks like there are better places to cross further upstream.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Quick hike, the grade was reasonable and the glacier amazing. There is a few creek crossings that may be more difficult earlier in the summer but this time of year weren't a problem.

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

My 9-year-old practically ran up this hike, he is in great shape! Took my family and spent about 3-hours round trip. Awesome old-growth trees, some work on the trail, lots of switch-backs, great views of the mountains, amazing waterfalls. The last creek to cross was too much for me, but my brother & dad made it across and the glacier views are worth crossing (their photos were incredible)! I saw a few dogs packed in backpacks to cross the moving water (no bridges, expect to get wet!), and many folks used poles for assistance. It was a busy day of hikers. Scenic views all around! You have to get your pass to park at the Rangers station, and there's a "toilet" trail which consisted of a wooden box, so bring your toilet paper. Temperatures chanted from 60 degrees in Glacier to 50 degrees when we parked at the trailhead and hiked up. Be sure to wear layers and boots to get wet/muddy, as the water crossings are more like jumping across rushing water!

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

So beautiful! Hard time getting past that last creek and the flies were annoying but nothing too difficult

Saturday, August 27, 2016

brilliant, great hike, the views and crossing the streams make it a great adventure. bugs as soon as you so better to keep moving

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