Of the Pacific Northwest’s towering-deciduous-tree-peppered wilderness, it’s hard to deny that Mount Baker is among the most beautiful. Craggy peaks—Mount Shuksan and Ruth Peak among others—help Baker punctuate the skyline. They’re so tall they create their own weather and shroud the area in something almost akin to desolation. That’s one of the best parts of visiting this vast swath of land; the Bellingham, Stevens Pass, and Leavenworth areas attract many outdoor explorers, and so, even on a sunny spring weekend, the trails around Mount Baker feel somewhat less occupied (though the Baker Lake campgrounds seem to always be an exception to this rule).
Each season is different and just as spectacular as the last in the playground near this behemoth volcano. Spring brings a colorful blanket of wildflowers, fall touts brilliant alpine color, summer brings excellent access to a brilliant array of peaks, and winter ushers in legendary snowfall and incredible ski touring opportunities (over 1,140 inches—95 feet—fell on Baker during the 1998 and 1999 season). It’s all remarkably close to Seattle, and there’s truly something for everyone, from short, scenic hikes to tumbling waterfalls to multi-day backpacking trips.
For those who choose to make a pit stop in Bellingham, take a peek at Must-Do Adventures near Bellingham, Washington. There is an array of excellent stops to make before you head inland and away from this mid-sized college town. Plus, it boasts some of the best mountain biking trails in the country.
As always, it’s imperative to check the weather report before embarking on any extended or overnight adventures. Likewise, the principles of Leave No Trace always apply regardless of season or whether the garbage can is full at the campground. Leave it better than you found it!