All About the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Website

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is located on the west side of the North Cascades between the Canadian border and Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington state. It contains picturesque beauty, with glacier-covered peaks, spectacular mountain meadows, and old-growth forests. Because of its proximity to metro Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver BC, and surrounding Puget Sound communities, the Forest receives 5.4 million visitors every year. The Forest prides itself on offering year-round recreation and educational opportunities.

The Forest also relies heavily on partnerships to accomplish work. In 2009, the Forest worked with more than 100 partners, an estimated value of $4 million. The Forest focus on building social capacity and local communities by engaging underserved urban youth in the outdoors, helping to foster an appreciation for the environment while encouraging them to pursue educational and career development opportunities. The Forest partners with natural resource groups to provide education through application. Successful programs in meeting these goals are the Internal District Housing Alliance, Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Kids Program, and Snohomish County’s "Get Movin" campaign.

The Ice Caves National Recreation Trail is one of the most popular trails on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, featuring the lowest elevation glacier in the lower 48 states.

Winter avalanches pile tremendous amounts of snow at the base of the mountain. Stream channels flowing down the mountain and running under the snowfield form the ice caves when temperatures rise in late summer. “It really is a very special place,” said Gary Paull, Wilderness and Trails Manager for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The International District Housing Alliance

The International District Housing Alliance (IDHA) improves opportunities for Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Seattle area. Since 2002, IDHA’s Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development Program has been developing youth leaders through outdoor recreation, job training, career development, and stewardship outings having kids pulling weeds and planting native vegetation, while wildlife viewing trips teach about river ecology, salmon, and eagle biology. They practice public speaking skills by interpreting what they learn to their elders. Youth go camping, canoeing, build trails, and learn about Forest Service careers. Some of the youth later intern with the agency.

1.75 million acres
834,000 acres of wilderness
166,611 acres for timber production
1,505 miles of trail
186 miles of wild and scenic rivers
13 historic fire lookouts
  • Your Fees At Work

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    See what was accomplished this last year on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest thanks to recreation fees.