Welcome Pass, Excelsior Peak, and Damfino Lakes from Forest Service Road 3060 via High Divide Trail

HARD 4 reviews
#62 of 85 trails in

Welcome Pass, Excelsior Peak, and Damfino Lakes from Forest Service Road 3060 via High Divide Trail is a 17.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

17.1 miles
5,669 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips





wild flowers


Directions from Glacier: Travel east on the Mt. Baker Hwy. 542 for approximately 12.5 miles to Forest Road #3060, located between mileposts 45 and 46. Turn left on Road #3060 which is difficult to see. The turn is about .3 miles west of the Shuksan garage for the highway department. The parking area is located at the end of the road, about .7 miles from Hwy. 542. The trailhead is about 75 feet back down the road from the parking area which has a minimal stock trailer turnaround.

2 months ago

7/18/18-7/19/18: I hiked up Welcome Pass late on the 18th, camping about halfway up, then continued on the High Divide Trail along the ridge. The views along the High Divide Trail are incredible, and I can only imagine how much better they would have been on a clearer day. I continued on to the Damfino Lakes Trail, reaching the little cabin at the end, resting for a bit, then making my way back along the same route. It ended up being about 1.5 miles the first day and 20+ miles the second, which was fairly tough.

The ascent up Welcome Pass was brutal and felt a lot longer than the 2.3 miles it really was. Once I reached the ridge, however, it was all worth it. The views were incredible when I could get them, but the majority of my hike was spent within a cloudy mist. The whole High Divide Trail has numerous snowfields of varying sizes which were easy to cross with trekking poles and boots. I’d imagine that the majority of the snow will be gone within a few weeks. The snowmelt has created some nice lakes and streams to collect water from along the trail. There’s a lot of contouring on the trail and some really beautiful views of Mount Baker and the surrounding valleys and mountains. There are a few dangerous sections a few miles (westbound) into the High Divide Trail that are narrow and cross rocky slopes that have partially collapsed and look liable to continue, but I passed them unscathed with a bit of caution. Damfino Lakes Trail has a lot of debris and fallen trees from the winter months that haven’t been cleared, likely because the access road to the trail is closed right now and has been since late September of last year, as I gathered from the broken trail register’s water-damaged log sheets. A lovely and challenging hike for a single day!

At present, the “directions” button for this hike will take you to the closed service road and you will have to turn around because the trailhead is another 9 miles past the closure. This may change in time, but for the short-term, follow the written directions instead, which are correct. The map of this trail is also not quite correct, as it includes Damfino Lakes and High Divide, but not the ascent/descent of Welcome Pass itself, which (at least at the time of posting this review) begins at the eastern terminus of the route on the map here. There is also an excellent and again quite steep hill to the right of the junction between High Divide and Welcome Pass that is unnamed. It is worth the climb! With all three trails combined, my round-trip was roughly 22 miles. It’s all excellent and very worthwhile!

2 months ago

I'm amazed there are so few reviews. This was possibly the most spectacular view I have ever experienced! Forgot my phone on the hike so sorry no pics. Killer hike but fairly short to the pass, 3- 4 miles, then it's all view no matter where you roam. Peaks every which way you turn. the snow made it that much more spectacular. There was no snow on the hill climb. That would have made it impossible. We went on a mostly sunny day. I will come back.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This trail olnly gains about 400 feet in the first half a mile. After that, it's about 2600 feet on a stair master. On average you gain a foot for every 4 feet with much of it significantly steeper than that. The view is fantastic but the trail is just as tough coming and going. The meadows at the top give you plenty of room to have a seat and soak it all in.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016