Best Hiking Trails in Mount Baker Wilderness
Standing at 10,781 feet, the snow and glacier covered Mount Baker provides recreation opportunities to hikers, mountaineers, ice climbers, and skiers and is the fourth highest summit in Washington. Navigate alpine meadows and wildflowers, glaciers, and several tree species to various peaks in the area for views of the Cascade Mountain Range and share the trail with mountain goats and hoary marmots. Mount Baker Wilderness is part of the Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984 and covers 117,900 acres.
The State Route WA-542 and a few forest roads will get you to trailheads for access to this pristine wilderness area.
Mount Baker encompasses two areas: the Mount Baker Wilderness and the Mount Baker National Recreation Area. Most of Mount Baker itself lies within the Mount Baker Wilderness. The National Recreation Area encompasses the south slope, which includes some of the more common climbing routes like Easton Glacier and Squak Glacier. Climb to the summit via either the Coleman-Demming, Park Glacier, or the North Ridge routes within the Wilderness boundary.
Not interested in a summit bid? Check out Excelsior Peak via High Divide Trail for spanning views of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker. Yellow Aster Butte trail boasts views into Canada, wildflowers in the spring, and vibrant larches in the fall making it a popular day hike or easy overnight backpack.
When to Go
Best time to go is May through September. Snow lingers at higher elevations, especially near glaciers most of the year. Spring brings to life budding alpine wildflowers in May and June while landscapes are decorated with orange-colored larches in September.
Some trailheads require a recreational pass. Get more information here. Group sizes are limited to 12 people in wilderness areas.
Dogs are permitted on leash in the Mount Baker Wilderness. Learn more about dogs in the national forests, here.