Mount Baker Trip GuideThe Mount Baker Highway (Hwy 542) is a spur route that winds for 62 miles east of Bellingham up to beautiful Mount Baker. Along the scenic route are some of Washington’s coolest mountain towns and most awesome hikes.

Mount Baker is a 4-season destination, with plenty of snow to play in all winter and spring, replaced by carpets of wildflowers in summer and stunning fall color in autumn.

One of the indigenous names for Mount Baker is Koma Kulshan, which loosely translates into white mountain with a puncture would on top (the crater). Baker is the second-most thermally active volcano in the Cascade range after Mount St. Helens. You won’t see steam pluming from Baker’s top (at least let’s hope not!) but you will see plenty of white snow in winter months.

Make the tiny town of Maple Falls or the tinier town of Glacier your home base for a day of skiing the slopes or exploring the terrain in hiking boots.


Getting There

The Mount Baker Highway is State Hwy 542, and runs to the east from Bellingham into the heart of the North Cascades, ending after 62 miles on Mount Baker, ending at Kulshan Ridge / Artist Point. Remember to check conditions before your trip, as this region experiences a late-season melt-out.

Larger Map and Driving Directions

Things to Do


Where to Eat


Where to Sleep

This area has bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as and plenty of vacation cabin and condo rentals.

CAMP: Our favorite place to pitch a tent is Silver Fir Campground (open May – September),a forest service campground with 21 campsites set on the North Fork Nooksack River 14 miles beyond the town of Glacier.


DayHikingNorthCascades_RomaDay Hiking North Cascades: Mount Baker, Mountain Loop Highway, San Juan Islands, by Craig Romano

Discover the stunning scenery that abounds in the North Cascades region, where hikers indulge in the drama of steep peaks, deep valleys, and everything in between. From the San Juan Islands to Rainy Pass, guidebook author Craig Romano hiked every step of the trails featured in this essential guidebook. For each hike you’ll get all the info you need (elevation, round trip mileage, driving directions) as well as Romano’s personal take on what makes the trail worth your time. Buy this one and it will never leave your car! (also available for Kindle)



Hot Showers, Soft Beds and Day Hikes in the North Cascades

Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Dayhikes in the North Cascades, by Sally O’Neal Coates

It’s too bad this book is out of print currently, but you can pick up a used copy via Amazon or try your local library.

Hate camping? This is the ideal book for hikers who prefer to start the day with a good breakfast and end the day with a hot shower. Sally O’Neal Coates shows you where to trek in this land of waterfalls and snowcapped peaks and where to slumber and feast in rustic cabins or charmed B & Bs.




Photos: Skiing at Mount Baker by Simon Wex. The trail above Bagley Lakes by Nordique. Downtown Glacier by mwkelley, Mount Shuskan reflected in one of the Reflection Ponds in the Mount Baker Ski Area by ideld,

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