Trail description from west (Excelsior Pass Trailhead) to east (Welcome Pass Trailhead):
The south facing Excelsior Pass trail section of the High Divide Trail is one of the first in the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway area to melt, making it a good early summer hike. From the Excelsior Pass trailhead the High Divide trail enters Mt. Baker Wilderness and switchbacks steadily up a forested slope, with evidence of old forest fires visible for the first two miles. In four miles you will break out above the timberline and into heavy brush. At 4.2 miles the trail reaches the meadows of Excelsior Pass, with outstanding views of Mt. Baker and the Nooksack Valley. Veering left at the junction of Excelsior Pass leads to Damfino Lakes Trail #625 (hiker only). Stay right at the junction to proceed along High Divide. The trail gradually gains elevation and reaches a junction about a fourth mile from Excelsior Pass. To the left ascend another fourth mile, 5,699 ft. elevation to Excelsior Peak, or stay right to reach a high point of 5,930 ft., approximately two miles from Excelsior Pass. From the 5,930 ft. high point the trail travels up and down 2.5 miles to Welcome Pass. At Welcome Pass turn south and descend steeply 2.5 miles to the Welcome Pass Trailhead.
At a Glance
||Summer - Fall
||Summer - Fall
||Open to hikers and llamas year round. Open to stock Aug. 1-Oct. 31. No campfires. Wilderness regulations apply, including a maximum party size of 12.
||No potable water.
||Vault toilet at Excelsior Pass trailhead and a mountain toilet at Excelsior Pass.
||A valid Recreation Pass is required at Excelsior Pass trailhead. (No pass required at Welcome Pass trailhead.)
||US Forest Service
||Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District office or Glacier Public Service Center.
Travel east on The Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 approximately 7.5 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center.
Trailhead Access 1, Excelsior Pass (Fee site)
From Glacier, travel east on the Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 approximately 7.5 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center. The trailhead is next to highway on the left hand (north) side.
Trailhead Access 2, Welcome Pass (No fee)
From Glacier, travel east on the Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 approximately 11.5 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center at Milepost 45 and Forest Service Road #3060. Turn left (north) onto Road #3060. This road is not signed and is easy to miss. If you drive past it, continue to the Department of Transportation station, turn around and Road #3060 will be your first right. Welcome Pass trailhead and parking are 1.5 miles from the highway, at the end of Road #3060.
Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.
• Green Trails: Mt. Baker #13, Mt. Shusksan #14
• USGS: Bearpaw Mountain, Mount Larrabee
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness
Excelsior Pass Trailhead has parking for 6 vehicles plus room for two vehicles with stock trailers. Welcome Pass Trailhead has parking for 6 vehicles with room for stock trailers.