From the trailhead begin at an old clear-cut, then quickly enter mature forest. Encounter a junction in 0.7 miles. The left fork is Canyon Ridge Trail #689, which connects to Boundary Way Trail #688. Take the right fork to reach Damfino Lakes in 0.1 mile. Tiny lakes are skirted by a puncheon bridge walkway and surrounded by blueberry bushes that turn a blazing scarlet in autumn. Stop and look for young salamanders in the shallows. From here, the trail re-enters forest and climbs uphill for about 1.5 miles, breaking out into an expansive meadow. Walk through extraordinary wildflowers in July and August or wonderful fall color in September and October. Bearpaw Mountain is the prominent peak to the west. At Excelsior Pass, reach the junction with High Divide Trail #630, which enters the Mt. Baker Wilderness and travels along Excelsior Ridge (High Divide) for 4.5 miles east to Welcome Pass, or drops from Excelsior Pass south to meet the Mt. Baker Highway 542 in 4.5 miles. Enjoy views from Excelsior Pass of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and the Canadian Border Peaks.
There are a few areas for camping near Damfino Lakes, but the area is also popular with biting insects. When camping in the high country, the best water supply is a spring located about a half mile before reaching Excelsior Pass. There are campsites near this spring. Other water sources are limited to snow fields and small tarns that can disappear in late summer. Campsites with nice views are located on the ridge that runs south from Excelsior Peak. Camping areas can also be found along High Divide. Please camp on snow, rock or bare ground.
At a Glance
Travel east on The Mt. Baker Highway 542 approximately 2 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center to Canyon Creek Road #31. Turn left onto Rd. #31 and continue 15 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead and parking area are located at the end of the road.
Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.
• Green Trails: Mt. Baker #13
• USGS: Bearpaw Mountain
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness
Parking for 15 vehicles, with room for stock trailers.