Many natural attractions on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest are special places providing a unique experience for our visitors; ranging from accessible trails and natural educational sites, to the sereneity of Wilderness Areas.
About half of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is designated as Wilderness. A wide variety of plants and animals can be found in these areas. You will find that each Wilderness area provides a unique and primitive experience.
Mt. Baker offers a variety of approaches with varying degrees of technical difficulty for would-be climbers. Glacier travel experience, knowledge of crevasse rescue techniques and safe climbing habits are a must.
The Mt. Baker National Recreation Area was created in conjunction with the 1984 Washington Wilderness Act to accommodate mixed recreation use in Schriebers Meadow. Hiking, horseback riding, camping, mountain climbing and snowmobiling are popular activities.
This page will help you discover the Skagit Wild and Scenic River System for yourself: what to do, where to do it, how to enjoy your stay in a safe and responsible way, and where to get additional information.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, a 2750-mile epic route that traverses from Mexico to Canada and passes through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
The 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail is a continuous, primarily non-motorized route from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean.
Lookouts are tangible symbols of Forest Service heritage, perched on high peaks with unobstructed views where they have been used throughout the years to detect and control fires in remote wildlands. Some are available for overnight stay.
Driving the major corridors through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest offers rewarding views of dense forest stands, stunning mountain vistas, glacial-melt rapids and glimpses of elk and bald eagles.
The Mt. Baker National Recreation Area was created in conjunction with the 1984 Washington Wilderness Act to accommodate mixed recreation use in Schriebers Meadow.
Hiking, horseback riding, camping and mountain climbing are popular summer activities. In winter snowmobilers can use the area when snow levels are more than two feet at Schriebers Meadow at Park Butte Trailhead.
Snowmobile access is provided on Forest Service road 13 to Schriebers Meadow, into upper Rocky and upper Sulphur Creek, the upper Railroad Grade, Metcalfe Moraine and lower Easton Glacier. Large crevasses on the glaciated slopes of Mt. Baker may be hidden by snow bridges and not readily visible. Snowmobiles must stay within boundaries of the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area and outside of the adjacent Mt. Baker Wilderness. Check the Washington State Sno-Park for more information about snowmobiling.
General location map, not to scale.
Since 1925 lookouts have stood on this location. The current lookout was constructed in 1965 and staffed until the early 70s.
One of the first trails to be snow-free in this area, this is an ideal early-season hike. Begin climbing through a second-growth forest regenerated from clear cutting in the 1920s. The observation deck of the lookout is open to the public, and offers outstanding, close-up views of Mount Persis, Mount Index, Bridal Veil Falls and Philadelphia Mountain with other distant peaks to the east.
The lookout has been rebuilt by Everett Mountaineer volunteers. The original lookout was designed by Dan Evans, former governor of Washington State. For more information about volunteering or maintaining this facility contact the Everett Mountaineers.
The most prominent feature of the Mt. Baker Wilderness is the 10,781 foot [3,286 meters] active volcano from which the wilderness takes its name. Mt. Baker is the northernmost volcano in the United States Cascade Range located 15 miles south of the Canadian border. The mountain is perpetually snow-capped and mantled with an extensive network of creeping glaciers. Baker's summit, called Grant Peak, is actually a 1,300-foot-deep mound of ice, which hides a massive volcanic crater. Directly to the south is a smaller and younger crater, which is currently a center of periodic steam eruptions. Sherman Crater is only partially ice-filled and the rim's pinnacle, known as Sherman Peak, reaches an elevation of approximately 10,160 feet [3,097 meters].
Mt. Baker lies in two separate congressionally designated areas: the Mt. Baker Wilderness and the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area. Most of Mt. Baker is in Wilderness, with the National Recreation Area encompassing the south slope.
Climbing Mt. Baker
- Mt. Baker offers a variety of approaches with varying degrees of technical difficulty for would-be climbers. Some of the more popular routes are via the Coleman Glacier and the Easton Glacier. All routes to the summit of Mt. Baker are technical climbs on glaciers. Glacier travel experience, knowledge of crevasse rescue techniques and safe climbing habits are a must.
- Guide services offer a variety of climbing courses and provide an opportunity to acquire and improve mountaineering skills.
- Review climbing safety information. Before climbing, leave your plans with someone you trust. Include your expected time of return, vehicle and license number, where you will park and your climbing route.
Voluntary Climbing Register
- The Forest Service does not require permits for climbing Mt. Baker. It is strongly advised that all climbing parties register for their own protection. Registration is optional. It will, however, provide valuable information in case of emergency. Download the form (pdf) (doc) or pick one up at the ranger station. Then submit your completed form at the ranger station before attempting the climb. When your party returns, sign out at the station or call and let them know of your safe return. Failure to sign out may result in a needless and costly search effort.
- The Mt. Baker Wilderness and National Recreation Area maintain unique restrictions for hikers and climbers listed below.
- Review important sanitation information.
- Practice Leave No Trace methods.