A few places in the world makes you blow away. They soak you to its deepest beauty and take you to a paradisiacal tour on earth. Mount Baker is one of them.
Nestled in the landscapes of Washington state, Mount Baker is also famous in the name of Koma Kulshan. The 10,781 feet height cliffs are nothing but the snow-covered active volcano in the Cascade Range. After Mount Helens, if any name comes up in people’s minds for the most active volcanic crater in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, it is Mount Baker! It’s surely beautiful as heaven and dramatically glacier-like as Mount Everest.
Although the most recent volcanic eruption in Baker dates back to 6,700 years, the mountain is always on high alert because of its active lava inside. Thanks to the gorgeous glaciers that keep Mount Baker calm and composed while making it look appealing.
Baker is blissful for its reasons for the only mountain getting affected by both the continental and alpine glaciation. The Mount Baker Highway is the most attractive route tour to this magnificent American mountain. From Highway 542 of Bellingham, the route follows captivating virtue until its end at 5,140 feet elevation between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan, known as Artist Point.
The final destination on the route is Artist Point that packs sweeping views of the entire Cascade range and nearby flora, fauna, and snow in winters. The total 116 miles round trip route welcomes tourists all year long and makes them climb to Mount Baker ski area.
From where you can see the staggering Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, radiant Nooksack river valley, and spectacular summits of the Northern Cascade Range, you’ll love the place forever.
Only a pro baker is blissful for its reasons; the trip says how explicitly you would experience traveling to Mount Baker. Imagiher landmarks, too! Don’t worry. You need not go anywhere else.
In this guide, we have assembled the top five things to see in Mount Baker. These five destinations are top-notch. But don’t believe that there is nothing much to see in Baker except these. Only when you read this list, you’ll get tempted to visit this majestic mountain and its surrounding terrains immediately.
From hikes to trails, from forests to meadows, you’ll come across every beauty nature has to offer to humans in Mount Baker!
Where to Stay?
1. Glacier Public Service Center
Not a famous monument, Glacier Public Service Center is instead a traveling public facilitation place. After you complete driving 34 miles on the highway, you will halt at the Glacier Public Service Center. In this place, you’ll meet experts of Mount Baker who can make you learn about the current travel conditions, road situations, and the weather you might face while elevating towards the mountain peaks. The architecture of the center is of Cascadian style, built-in 1938 by the civil conservation corps. The building is listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places.
On Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, this is the last place where you can find public restrooms. The ones that facilitate flushing toilets for tourists are quiet on the eyes of people moving along the state route 542. Visitors can also purchase Baker mountain guides, maps, journals, books, magazines, and federal recreation passes from the center store. Plus, you get to fill your water bottles for free there! For those on the road trip, it is suggestible to rest for a while in the center. In the meantime, know a little more about Mount Baker and its history. Before you plan to visit the center, please check its current working hours here.
2. Nooksack Waterfalls
If you’ve seen The Deer Hunter movie, probably you remember the Nooksack Waterfalls. About 2/3rd of a mile off the main Mount Baker Highway, you can locate these falls on the Wells Creek Road. If you want its exact location, then Nooksack falls are towards the North Fork of the Nooksack River in Whatcom County, Washington. When you start for Mt. Baker, after traveling 40 miles, you can see these falls with utmost grace and elegance.
To watch these falls, you need to trail for about 0.2 km. The Nooksack waterfall trail is as popular as the falls itself. Suitable for all the levels of trailers reaching to the falls, you’ll meet thousands of nature aficionados. They mostly use the trail for nature and walk tours. If you want to see the most of this trail and waterfalls, schedule your trip to Baker between March and October. The good news is you can take your dogs to this trail with you, however, on one condition, i.e., of keeping them leashed.
3. Picture Lake
Driving for 55 miles on Highway 542 east, to the glacier town and 21 miles further towards a fork in the road, turn right, and you can see the Picture Lake on your left. While clicking the pictures of picturesque Lake Picture, you’ll get rugged Mount Shuksan in the background. The front of the lake keeps on sparkling with wildflowers all the time. The mirror-like, dazzling lake is a wow factor of Baker encircled by the rocky cliffs in Deming.
The backdrop of the craggy mountains, front flooded with green foliage, and the reflection of Mount Shuksan in the serene waters of Picture Lake, makes it the most photographed vista in entire North America. You can reach the parking place by turning to the left of the road crossing the Firs lodge. You can only park roadside or in the picnic area parking space of Heather Meadows. The government allows only hiking on Picture Lake, and no camping is permitted. Principal activities include hiking (day hiking & backpacking), nature viewing (viewing plants, wildlife, & scenery), and outdoor learning (visitor programs & interpretive area visits).
4. Visiting Heather Meadows & Its Boroughs
Only one mile ahead of Picture Lake, Heather Meadows stuns the route 542 at an eastern end. With its striking neighbor Picture Lake, Heather Meadows, and Huckleberry Meadows are never to miss destinations while hiking Mount Baker. You can easily explore its sceneries pursuing Fire & Ice Trail, the recent Bagley Lakes Trail, or the impeccable Chain Lakes Loop. Standing at the Heather Center, you can see the black cliffs prohibiting the snow bag lava and look like pointing arrows towards the fearless sky.
The interpretive signs on the Artist Ridge Trail are pretty tempting for first-time visitors. The Heather Meadows Center exhibits the cultural history of the areas in Mount Baker. Majorly the center and trails openly await travelers in summer after the melted snow has already flown away.
If you come in winters, you can enjoy the snowboarding opportunity in its amazing Mount Baker Ski Area nestled in Heather Meadows. The fees for visiting the center is $5 per vehicle per day. Chief activities in Heather Meadows involve hiking, exploring, nature viewing, outdoor lessons, picnicking, and winter sports activities.
5. Artist Point
Till you think how the climax would be of the excellent Mount Baker Highway trip, you reach the ultimate Artist Point at a 58 miles driving distance. Mount Baker is a stratovolcano carrying andesite lava within. So actually, no one can be at Mount Baker but can only see Mount Baker. The Artist Point would be the most beautiful end of a road trip you’ve ever seen. It gives Artist Ridge Trail, Ptarmigan Ridge Trail, Chain Lakes Trail, and Table Mountain Trail access. All these trails grant access to the Mount Baker Wilderness area.
Reaching Artist Point, you can surprise yourself by seeing the volcanic Mount Baker on the southwest side. Looking on the other side, you can give yourself a treat by looking at Mount Shuksan and North Cascades Mountain Range. On completing Artist Ridge Trail on Artist Point, you will see mesmerizing views in every direction your eyes follow. There are no vault toilets, restrooms, and trash cans available right now. Keep your trash jam-packed till you return to Glacier town or your stay spot.
You can collect some choicest wine samples from Mount Baker Vineyards. Adding them to your wine collection won’t make you regret even a pinch.
En route back or forth to Mount Baker, you can stack up some food or visit the best of the restaurants.
The North Fork Brewery, Grahams’ Restaurant, and Milano’s Pasta Fresca are three of the most recommended places to suffice your appetite in Baker.
You might also enjoy enrolling in any of the programs of the North Cascades Institute. It simply conducts seminars, hosts online tutorials, and executes programs about camping, mountain schooling, base camp learning, and the region’s natural & cultural history.
Besides these five renowned spots, there is a lot to visit, explore, experience, and learn in Mount Baker.
On your every step, you can find something pure, heart-touching, full of nature, and captivating hiking the Mount Baker.