Bell Pass Trail 603.3

  

This moderate stock trail starts at the junction with Elbow Lake Trail 697, 3.5 miles from the south Elbow Lake Trailhead and one mile south of Elbow Lake. Climb gently the first two miles through mature, mid-elevation forest to Bell Pass. Enjoy peek-a-boo views of Loomis Mountain on fair weather days.  Look for signs of the Nooksack Elk herds. After crossing Bell Pass at 3,900 feet enter the Mt. Baker Wilderness. The trail contours around the headwaters of Ridley Creek and the base of Park Butte, entering Mt. Baker National Recreation Area before arriving at Mazama Park meadows with a shelter and campsites. Continue up through switchbacks below Cathedral Crag leading to Cathedral Pass at 4,860 feet and the junction with Park Butte Trail 603 and a designated camp.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: Summer / Fall
Restrictions:
  • Open to stock Aug. 1-Nov. 1.
  • Note: Forest Service Road 12 is closed and gated Nov. 1 - July 1 at Wanlick Pass, 5.4 miles before Pioneer Camp. To protect elk breeding habitat no motorized vehicles are allowed beyond this point.  
  • Bell Pass Trail enters the Mt. Baker Wilderness and the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area. Wilderness regulations limit party size to 12 including stock.  National Recreation Area regulations prohibit campfires and camping is only allowed in designated sites.
Closest Towns: Sedro Woolley, Washington
Restroom: None at TH. Mountain toilet at Cathedral Camp only. Use approved method to pack out waste.
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District, Sedro Woolley Office at 360-856-5700, extension 515.

General Information

Directions:

Access from Elbow Lake Trailhead, south:

From the Mount Baker Ranger District office in Sedro-Woolley, follow State Route 20 east for 16 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway (Forest Service Road 11). Continue for 12 miles to Forest Service Rd. #12 and turn left. Travel FS Road 12 for 14 miles and look for a sign indicating a left hand turn for the trailhead. Turn left on a short spur road, which leads to Pioneer Horse Camp and the Elbow Lake Trailhead. The trailhead is located on the right (north) side of the parking area. Hike the Elbow Lake Trail about 3.5 miles to the start of the Bell Pass Trail.

Access from Park Butte Trail via Park Butte Trailhead:

From the Mount Baker Ranger District office in Sedro-Woolley, follow State Route 20 east for 16 miles to milepost 82. Turn left (north) on the Baker Lake Highway (Forest Service Road 11). At 12 miles, turn left on Forest Service Road 12. Travel 3.6 miles to the junction of Forest Service Road 13. Stay to right and follow Forest Service Road 13 for 5.3 miles. The trailhead is located at the end of Forest Service Road 13. Hike the Park Butte Trail about 2.5 miles to the Bell Pass Trail.


General Notes:

Maps:

  • Green Trails: Hamilton 45, Mt. Baker Wilderness Climbing 13S
  • Forest Service:  Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness
  • USGS: Twin Sisters Mtn., Mt. Baker

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Location

 
  Area/Length : 
  5.0 miles
  Latitude : 
48.6797235834
  Longitude : 
-121.896992459
  Elevation : 
3400 feet