Tucked away in the far north of Washington state lies a ribbon of road that weaves through the lush green valleys before rising to a crown of peaks. Welcome to the Mount Baker Highway, 57 miles of scenic tarmac that offers classic northwest scenery and provides a gateway to a collection of bucket-list-worthy outdoor adventures. Here are just some of the adventures:
Go east from Bellingham all the way to the end of the highway. In winter you'll find yourself at Taylor Meadows and on the doorstep of some of the best in-resort and backcountry powder conditions anywhere in the continent. In summer you can typically drive, ride or bike all the way to Artist Point and the myriad of alpine trials.
Forest roads lead off both sides of the highway. In winter these roads are transformed into serene Nordic ski and snowshoe trails. When the snow clears, the area's forest roads are gravel gateways to tarns, towers, wildflowers and wildlife.
The highway follows the valley carved by the Nooksack River North Fork as it races toward Bellingham Bay. Down in the valley you'll find vibrant rainforests, thunderous waterfalls, and respite from both the summer sun and winter extremes. There are great opportunities for rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping or just relaxing in this beautiful natural setting.
The ultimate adventure is to summit the glaciated volcano from which the region takes it's name. With over 7,000 feet of vertical gain and numerous crevasses to navigate, the Mount Baker summit ascent is not for the faint of heart. For those who don the crampons and conquer the formidable Roman Wall, the summit views are unparalleled, as is the sense of achievement in conquering an iconic Cascade peak.
Follow the Mount Baker highway toward Bellingham and veer south for more Mt Baker adventures, or check out the many others located closer to Bellingham.