Mount Baker is a legendary volcano in the North Cascades located in Whatcom County. The base elevation is at 3,500 feet and the peak is at 5,089 feet. Mount Baker is primarily known as a winter ski area, famous for the most snow in the US. The mountain offers year-round adventures. It’s highly regarded as a top spot come winter time but it’s a completely different experience in the summer. It’s a destination spot for hikers and backpackers in the spring, summer, and fall. So much to do and some much space to explore because it really does have amazing hikes, beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, plenty of great backpacking opportunities, and diverse wildlife.
Mount Baker is one of the most heavily glaciated volcanoes in the Cascade Range, and these glaciers give the epic views that keep tourists coming. The ski area is home to the world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches, during the 1998–99 season. Whooshing down slopes or navigating the back-country in quiet solitude, Mt. Baker provides ample opportunities for winter snow activities. The ski area is known for numerous challenging in-bounds routes and for the many backcountry opportunities that surround it. The backcountry is accessible from several chairlifts, so you can snowshoe and backcountry ski in deep powder, with some amazing views.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are two of the greatest winter sports on the planet and Mt. Baker is known for getting an average of 641 inches of snow a year – more than any other resort in the world – Mt. Baker is known as a mecca for powder hounds. With diverse terrain and awesome natural features, the Mt. Baker ski area is great for skiing, and world-renown for freeride snowboarding. Mt. Baker Ski Area is more isolated than Washington’s other resorts. Meaning: it rarely gets crowded. Come mid-week and you’ll feel as if you have the entire place to yourself. The ski area is equipped with a total of ten chairlifts that go up to an elevation of about 5,000 feet. The chairs service beginner to expert runs in the trough between Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker. Many people, however, come for the resort’s incredible surrounding backcountry in the Mount Baker Wilderness, which is accessible from several of the lifts. The terrain is mostly below the treeline and very challenging. Beginners are surprisingly well catered for with a free handle tow and reasonable progressions, whilst for intermediates, there are only some rolly poly interrupted fall line runs with limited appeal. Snowboarders and skiers enjoy a variety of terrain, day lodges, ski lessons, and rentals. Mt. Baker Ski Area has the longest season in the state and often the most snow in North America. Below are some resources for skiing and snowboarding.
- Mt Baker Ski AreaBusiness Office – 1420 Iowa st Bellingham WA 98229 360-734-6771
- Snow Report 360-671-0211
- Glacier Ski Shop 966 Mt Baker Hwy Deming Wa 98244 360-599-1943
- WWS Boardshop 104 E Maple St # 102 Bellingham WA 98225 360-676-1146
- Backcountry Essentials 214 W Holly St Bellingham WA 98225 360-546-5678
- Yeager’s Sporting Goods 3101 Northwest Ave Bellingham WA 98225 360-733-1080
- REI 400 36th st Bellingham WA 98225 360-647-8955
- The Equipment Shop at the American Alpine Institute 1513 12th St Bellingham WA 98223 360-671-1570
- Zumiez 1 Bellis Fair Pkwy #402 Bellingham WA 98226 360-671-2562
Cross Country Skiing
Mt. Baker has an exquisite web of trails for cross country just north of the ski resort. Close to the Mt. Baker ski area, White Salmon Road is a brisk 2-mile trip along mountainous terrain, opening to awe-striking views of Mt. Shuksan. The longest is Razor Hone which is an easy 3-mile journey along the North Fork Nooksack River. The trail interconnects with the Cougar Loop which is the most difficult cross country trail in the area.
The modern snowshoe was invented in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, designed specifically for their high powder banks, high-rise cliffs, and open glaciers. There are several options for snowshoeing in the Mt. Baker area. Novices can explore the snowshoe trails beneath White Salmon Lodge near the ski area, or further down the mountain at the Salmon Ridge Sno-Park, with its plethora of trails. White Salmon and Salmon Ridge are cross-country skiing and snowshoe-focused trail systems. Salmon Ridge Sno-Park is 13 miles east of Glacier along the Mt. Baker Highway. Razerhone is the main trail but has many side trails. Many trails wind through the silent woods and snow banks of White Salmon. Walking through the woods of the White Salmon area you’ll get great views of Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Sefrit, and Goat Mountain.
There are many places to go sledding once into the upper alpine environment, with the most popular being Picture Lake another popular place to sled is at Highwood Lake near the Mt. Baker Ski Area.
More than 168 miles of snowmobile trails can take you throughout the forest. Snowmobiling is allowed when the road systems are closed to vehicles and there is sufficient snowpack. There are two groomed trails Canyon Creek and Glacier Road. For more trails and info click on the links below.
- Mt. Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest -Snowmobilng
- Baker Lake / Middle Fork Nooksack
- Anderson Creek Sno-Park
- Railroad Grade Trail 603.2
- Interstate 90 Mountains to Sound Greenway
- Mount Margaret Winter Sports Area
- Mountain Loop Scenic Byway
- Segelson Creek Sno-Park
- Mt. Baker Highway (SR 542)
- Glacier Creek Sno-Park
- North Cascades (SR 20)
- Finney Creek Sno-Park
- US Highway 2 – Skykomish Area east to Stevens Pass