Mount Baker

About a month ago,  Justine and I ha to cross into the US for me to pick up a package that was being shipped to an address in Blaine, WA. After picking up the package, the boarder line coming back was a bit long, so we decided to take a little drive as it was a pretty nice evening. As neither of us had been out to the mountain, we decided to drive the Mount Baker Scenic Highway. It was a beautiful drive, but as it was getting later we didn't make it to the top of the mountain before dark. We did make a couple of stops along the way, one of which was a waterfall right off the road called Nooksack Falls.

Nooksack Falls near Mount Baker. It's a much larger waterfall than this shows, but as the top is fenced off you can't see the full height.

A couple of weeks later, the weather was amazing, and we decided to take a full day and do a short road trip down to see the mountain properly. We got a better start, and were able to enjoy the full drive all the way to the top. Mount Baker is an active volcano, and is a big mountain - just a bit over 10,000' and has a reputation for snow - in 1999 they set the world record for recorded snowfall in a single season—1,140 in (2,900 cm). 

The road to the top is a pretty crazy drive - lots of hairpin turns, and crazy drop offs to the valley floor. It's about a 40 minute drive to the top at Artist's Point, but well worth it for the amazing views across to the glaciated peak of Mount Baker, as well as the surrounding mountains.

A apnoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Mount Baker's glacier peak is actually behind me.

At the top of Mount Baker, despite the fact that it was mid-July, there was still a ton of snow. One of the people we were talking to mentioned that the parks board had inmates from a local prison up to dig out the washrooms. As you can see, it needed digging.

 The snow was still more than 15' deep at the top of the highway at Artist's Point. It's crazy to think how much must have been there at the peak.

The snow was still more than 15' deep at the top of the highway at Artist's Point. It's crazy to think how much must have been there at the peak.

At the top, there are a series of hiking trails that go off in all directions. As Justine's ankle is still not properly healed, we decided to stick to one fairly easy trail that stayed near the top parking lot. It was still heavily covered in snow, but as it was later in the day and the sun was bright, the snow softened up and was pretty easy to walk on.

 Justine hiking on the snow field.

Justine hiking on the snow field.

The little hike we did was pretty spectacular, and took us far enough out that we had great views in every direction. There was a bit of cloud in the sky that seemed to be hanging over the peak of the glacier, but other than that we couldn't have asked for a better day. At one point, the snow was melting into a small glacier pond that showed the blue nicely.

 A small pond was starting to form as the snow melted in the sunshine.

A small pond was starting to form as the snow melted in the sunshine.

One small patch of cloud seemed be hanging over the peak of Mount Baker the whole time we were there.  It was just big enough to hide the very top of the glaciers.

The mountains seem to go on forever in this part f the world. You can see the start of the highway, as it winds it's way down the mountain.

After spending about an hour wandering around the top, we started the drive back down. We made a couple of stops along the way to take some more pictures, but mostly it was a picturesque, but uneventful drive home.

Near the ski hill at Mount Baker, this small mountain lake sits nestled in the trees.

 This small waterfall was about half way down the mountain, on our drive back home.

This small waterfall was about half way down the mountain, on our drive back home.