Mt. Baker

The Mount Baker Highway (Hwy 542) is the main access to some of the best hikes in the state.

During the winter, the Mount Baker Highway dead-ends at the Mt. Baker Ski area but provides snowshoe access to Heather Meadows, Austin Pass, Artist Point and Huntoon Ridge, plus many other well documented destinations.

Often times, Hwy 542 is opened up to vehicle access all the way to Artist Point from late July until early October, making for easier access to Ptarmigan Ridge, Lake Ann and Table Mountain (and a host of other local favorites).

This page contains links to my various trip reports that start along the Mount Baker Highway (Hwy 542), or other nearby trail heads. Click the text link to read the trip report and see related trip photos.

Artist Point / Austin Pass / Heather Meadows / Huntoon Point
During winter months, Hwy 542 closes at Heather Meadows (and the Mt. Baker Ski Area). The most popular route from this location is to proceed through Heather Meadows up to Austin Pass and then beyond to Artist Point and Huntoon Point. It's a popular area, for good reasons.
Heather Meadows with sleds, snowshoes, igloos and ice caves (Trip #173, February 15, 2012)
Table Mountain (Trip #158, October 17, 2011)
Artist Point with Snow in July (Trip #148, July 02, 2011)
Heather Meadows for Summer Solstice (Trip #146, June 18, 2011)
Artist Point with friends (Trip #133, January 29, 2011)
Austin Pass on Winter Solstice (Trip #129, December 21, 2010)
Huntoon Point in full sun (Trip #106, March 6, 2010)
Heather Meadows half day lounging (Trip #105, February 18, 2010)
Heather Meadows and winter skills development (Trip #83, April 8, 2009)
Artist Point - my first winter visit (Trip #15, February 12, 2006)

Church Mountain
The peak visible from the Mt. Baker Highway as you cross the Nooksack River by the Douglas Fir Campground, with the church-like steeple, used to be the home of a fire Lookout. While the lookout no longer exists, the trail through these steep meadows will leave you praising God.
Church Mountain confession (Trip #122, September 4, 2010)
Church Mountain early season visit (Trip #21, June 10, 2006)

Damfino Lakes / Excelsior Pass / Excelsior Peak
Excelsior is an alpine ridge/peak/pass that is accessible via a number of routes: The Easy Way (done), the Hard Way (attempted) and the Hiker's Dream Way (on my to-do list, but it's a secret until then). Stunning scenery and the hike of a lifetime!
Excelsior Peak via Damfino Lakes - the easy way (Trip #120, August 29, 2010)
Excelsior Mountain via Hwy 542 - the hard way (Trip #104, February 18, 2010)
Excelsior Pass via Damfino Lakes - an early season attempt, written by Tim Mahoney (Trip #92, June 20, 2009)

Gold Run Pass
If you are enjoying the Yellow Aster Butte trail, Gold Run Pass is just an extra half mile detour... or a nice spot for a break on your way to Tomyhoi Lake.  Views from the pass are limited, but if you continue toward Tomyhoi Lake just two or three switchbacks, the lake will come into view and you'll have a nice glimpse of the valley and surrounding peaks.
Gold Run Pass (Trip #192, August 26, 2012)

Hannegan Pass Road
This road provides access to some fantastic hikes in the Mount Baker area. From the Nooksack Headwaters to classic cascade peaks... it's all right here!
Goat Mountain (Trip #149, July 10, 2011)
Road To Hannegan Pass (Trip #145, June 18, 2011)

Heliotrope Ridge and Glacier Creek Road
One of the most popular climbing routes for Mount Baker begins right here on Heliotrope Ridge. A great place to get up close and personal with a glacier.
Heliotrope Ridge (Trip #50, July 14, 2007)
Glacier Creek Road Snowshoe (Trip #167, December 17, 2011)

Lake Ann
Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful alpine lake settings I've ever witnessed. This place is so unbelievable that even my kids have asked to camp here!
Lake Ann (Trip #75, September 14, 2008)
Lake Ann (Trip #54, September 9, 2007)

Nooksack River, Falls, Wells Creek Road and related water-works
Hwy 542 doesn't veer too far from the powerful and wild Nooksack river. If you have a little extra time on your way home from Mt. Baker, be sure to check out one of these destinations... totally worth it!
Wells Creek Road snowshoe trek (Trip #176, March 17, 2012)
Middle Fork Nooksack River Diversion Dam (Trip #150, July 10, 2011)
Horseshoe Bend (Trip #121, August 29, 2010) offers a riverside stroll along a turbulent waterway in the shadow of Church Mountain.
Nooksack Falls (Trip #107, March 6, 2010) was the sight for one of the Rambo movie scenes... plus it has some interesting historical facts plus a huge wooden water pipe to channel water to a powerhouse.

Ptarmigan Ridge
One of my favorite view of Mount Baker is only available from this route straight toward the mountain. It passes by Coleman Pinnacle and through an obsidian/lava boulder field... plus, goats!
Ptarmigan Ridge (Trip #26, August 13, 2006)

Racehorse Mountain
Located in the Mount Baker foothills, off Mosquito Lake Road, lies a couple of unlikely peaks that can offer fun winter outings.
Racehorse Mountain snowshoe with members of the Mount Baker Club (Trip #109, April 3, 2010)

Razor Hone Knob
From the northern edge of the lower Mt. Baker Ski Lodge at White Salmon exists a new snowshoe route to a scenic vista of the Nooksack River and nearby majestic peaks.
Razor Hone Knob snowshoe with members of the Mount Baker Club (Trip #138, April 7, 2011)

Skyline Divide/Ridge
Another classic hike providing ridgetop views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and 25 million wildflowers (in season).
Skyline Divide, with sunshine and great views (Trip #189, August 4, 2012)
Skyline Divide, under cloudy skies (Trip #25, August 12, 2006)

Sumas Mountain
Located at the very northwest apex of the Cascade Mountains you will find Sumas Mountain.  Surrounded by the little Whatcom County cities of Deming, Everson, Nooksack, Sumas and Kendall, Sumas Mountain has a colorful (and fraudulent) mining history.  The trails out here include no less than three mines, a safe to hold your gold, a unique cabin, a 'slow landslide', a mile of mud and the option for a lot of elevation gain.
Sumas Mountain with stops at Mines #3, #2, #1, the Safe and the Cabin.  (Trip #198, December 15, 2012)
Sumas Mountain with stops at the safe, Mine #1, the Cabin, a uniquely hidden geo-cache/summit register and a couple of geologists.  (Trip #177, April 14, 2012)

Winchester Lookout
While the road to the trail head at Twin Lakes is notorious for being difficult, the rewards of this trail from the terrain to the views to the overnight accomodations are tough to beat!
Winchester Mountain Lookout - maintained by the Mount Baker Club (Trip #119, July 25, 2010)

Yellow Aster Butte
One of the most remote and most desired of destinations in the Mount Baker area.  The long drive is well worth the effort when the snow disappears and the sun shines golden.
Yellow Aster Butte (Trip #191, August 16, 2012)

There are many other hikes available for exploring along the Mount Baker Highway, including Hannegan Pass, Welcome Pass, Table Mountain and the Chain Lakes Loop. Hopefully trip reports for those destinations will eventually show up here too.

In the meantime, be sure to check out all the trails on the SOUTH side of Mount Baker as well. A lot of those hikes are included on the North Cascades/Hwy 20 trip reports page.

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