Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier

Mount Baker Wilderness

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Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier

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  • Crossing over Grouse Creek along the Heliotrope Trail.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Hike along the Heliotrope Trail.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View of Mount Baker (10,781') and Roosevelt Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Lupine (Lupinus), magenta paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora), golden aster (Heterotheca villosa) at treeline. - Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Eastern comma (Polygonia Comma) butterfly.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View of Roosevelt Glacier and Bastile Ridge.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Preparing to rope up for Colman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Mount Baker (10,781') and the Roosevelt and Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Break on Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Sunset from the base camp on Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Sunset on Mount Baker from a base camp on Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Looking up at the Black Buttes from base camp.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Sunrise from Coleman Glacier looking over the North Cascades.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Morning light on Mount Baker with Colfax Peak (9,335') at right.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Keeping the map handy on the flanks of Mount Baker.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View of Mount Baker (10,781') from Coleman Glacier. The Black Buttes are Colfax Peak (9,335') at center and Lincoln Peak (9,096') at right.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View south from Mount Baker's summit with Glacier Peak in the distance.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Mount Baker summit (10,781').- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View northeast toward Mount Shuksan (9,131').- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View east toward Baker Lake and North Cascades National Park.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • View southwest toward Sherman Peak (10,180').- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Contributor Tommy Norwood and company on Mount Baker's summit (10,781').- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • The return descent from Mount Baker's summit.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Base of Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Descending the Roman Wall: Colfax Peak is below, and Boston Basin is in the distance.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Seracs below Colfax Peak.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • The return hike.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Morning crossing of Kulshan Creek.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • A climb team reaches the base of the Roman Wall after descending from the summit with Colfax Peak in the background.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Sunlight burns through clouds over campers on the "football field" of the Coleman Glacier.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • Two tiny climbers make their way to the Roman Wall with Colfax Peak above the clouds.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
  • The impressive Lincoln Peak on the south end of the Heliotrope Ridge and the "football field" basecamp.- Mount Baker via Coleman Glacier
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Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Vistas. Wildflowers. Obvious trail.
Cons: 
Crowds. Unpredictable weather. Crevasses. Avalanche potential.
Region:
Mount Baker Area, WA
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
11.00 mi (17.70 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
3,680 ft (1,122 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
7,100 ft (2,164 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Recommended Equipment:
Ice Ax, Crampons, Harness, Rope
Most technical pitch: 
Class I

Current Local Weather

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Snow (1–2 in.) throughout the day.
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Tue

Light snow (under 1 in.) starting in the evening.
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Wed

Light snow (1–2 in.) throughout the day.
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25°

Thu

Light snow in the morning and afternoon.
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Fri

Light snow in the morning.
41°F
22°

Sat

Partly cloudy overnight.
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23°

Sun

Flurries in the morning.
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23°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Dominating Bellingham's eastern skyline, Mount Baker provides countless opportunities for crevasse alpine climbing. Second only to Mount Rainier as Washington's most glaciated peak, the mountain provides a plethora of route variations ranging from beginner crevasse travel to difficult ice climbing. As the most climbed route, the Coleman-Deming glaciers offer climbers an introduction to glacier travel with breathtaking vistas of the North Cascades. Don't be fooled by the beginner rating on this route; the 7,100-foot overall elevation gain, rapidly changing weather, and potential for avalanches and crevasse falls leave this climb suited for the physically fit and experienced alpine climber.

Beginning in a lush green timber forest, the Coleman-Deming route weaves through the predominantly fir timber stand that crosses rushing streams and passes glacier-fed waterfalls. Climbers should be prepared for a few rock-hopping stream crossings and exercise caution when the creeks are running high. Water levels are typically lowest in the early morning hours and increase throughout the day as the glaciers melt in the heat of the sun. The route emerges from the shadows of the trees at timberline, exposing breathtaking views of the fractured glaciers on the andesitic stratovolcano. Passing through fields of magenta paintbrush, lupine, and yellow aster, the trial continues to push up the ridge to the base of the Coleman Glacier. Once you finish roping-up, continue as the route sets off past giant, delicately stacked seracs and up to the ridge dividing Deming and Coleman glaciers. After making the last strenuous push up the ridge and through the steep Roman Wall, climbers emerge on the flat top leading to the snow-crowned summit at 10,781 feet.

For climbers looking for a two-day climb, the route presents a few basecamp options. Low camp at the base of the Coleman Glacier provides a shorter pack in and dry ground to erect camp in the summer months. For the more ambitious overnighter, roped travel to cross the crevassed glacier to the spine of Heliotrope Ridge provides a true snow camping experience. Beware of crevasses and the moat between the glacier and the rock face of the ridge, as both pose a fall risk. Both camp options afford breathtaking views of the summit block and the jagged peaks of the Cascade Range to the north.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(25 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(40 within a 30 mile radius)

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