Exploring Mount Baker

March 08, 2023

Exploring Mount Baker

Exploring Mount Baker

Mount Baker, also known as Koma Kulshan, is a volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Range in Washington, USA. It is a popular choice for an avid hiker as Mt. Baker offers a range of climb-ing routes that vary in difficulty. However, if you would like to accomplish a trip to the top, you will require basic climbing knowledge and be physically fit enough for hiking. Mount Baker also offers an excellent ski area with an average snowfall of 663 inches a year.

Here, we explore some of Mount Baker's popular hiking routes, places to eat, hiking essentials, the best places to camp, and more!

Mount Baker facts

  • It is the youngest volcano in its volcanic field.
  • Mt. Baker has an elevation of 10,786 ft (3,288 m).
  • It is a stratovolcano – this means is a built by layers of hardened lava and tephra over years.

Mount Baker hiking routes

There is a range of routes to hike up and around Mount Baker Mountain. Depending on the route taken, there are smaller hikes that typically take 4 hours, others that could take 10 hours and if you are looking for a lengthier process, there is a climbing experience that could take up to 2 or 3 days.

Hikes routes and lengths:

  • Chain Lakes Loop – 4.5-4.5 hours
  • Skyline Divide – 3.5-5 hours
  • Hannengan Pass and Peak – 5.5-7.5 hours
  • Baker Lake Trail – 5-7 hours
  • Excelsior Pass Trail – 5.5-7.5 hours
  • Welcome Pass via High Divide Trail – 7-9.5 hours
  • Alpine Ascents International – 3 days

For more information on the Mount Baker 3 day climb, visit Alpine Ascents.

Will Mount Baker erupt again?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – Science for a Changing World, an official US Government site states: "Mount Baker is presently not showing signs of renewed magmatic activity, but it will surely become restless again. Fu-ture magmatic eruptions at Mount Baker are likely to be preceded by changes at the volcano that could be detected by modern volcano-monitoring techniques."

The USGS goes on to state that: "As of 2013, only a minimal number of seismometers are installed near Mount Baker and gas measurements are made on an annual or biannual ba-sis. Deformation monitoring occurs infrequently. The USGS places a high priority on improving the volcano monitoring systems at Mount Baker as part of the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) initiative."

Is Mount Baker still an active volcano?

Yes, Mount Baker is an active volcano. However, Mt. Baker erupted last in 1849. According to the USGS, every year more and more people are living in the downstream and downwind areas nearing Mt. Baker which could be affected by the potential risks.

Where to camp near Mount Baker

If you are hoping to stay nearby to enjoy the gorgeous views Mt. Baker has to offer, check out the campsites below. Remember to read customer reviews to ensure your stay is exactly what you are looking for.

Beautiful viewpoints along Mount Baker's Byway

To reach the Mount Baker ski area, you will need to drive along Route 542. This is a 58 mile route which passes through 3 picturesque viewpoints. It is important to note that some points close from fall until the early summer months. So, make sure to check before traveling.

Byway viewpoints:

  1. Artist Point
  2. Yellow Aster Butte
  3. Nooksack River

Travel essentials

If you are planning on hiking, you will need the essentials. Here is our checklist to ensure you are prepared for a great experience and are also safe while doing so.

  • Hiking backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Trekking poles
  • A fully charged phone with GPS – no one wants to get lost!
  • A first aid kit
  • SPF
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Snacks
  • A head torch
  • Appropriate clothing

Here at Sherpa, we love an adventure. We offer a range of awesome clothes for hiking and travel. See our Sherpa Adventure Gear Clothing for Hiking.

Places to eat near Mount Baker ski area

Hiking and skiing are a sure-fire way to work up an appetite. Here, we have put together a list of local restaurants, bars, and cafes near Mt. Baker with good reviews for you to out for yourself!

Wake n' Bakery

If you are looking for a fair-trade coffee and some handmade baked goods to fuel your ad-venture, Wake n' Bakery is the one for you! Ideal for breakfast or lunch.

The Heliotrope

The Heliotrope describe their cui-sine as "food from faraway lands". Offering wholesome foods like hummus, South African bunny chow, and Nepali dal bhat. Ideally located just one mile from Mt. Baker ski area.

Chair 9 Woodstone Pizza & Bar

If you are after a later pizza and a beverage for lunch or dinner, the Chair 9 Woodstone Pizza & Bar offers great options for your post-adventure food. A great last stop after a day of explorations around Mount Baker.

We hope you found this helpful and are planning on enjoying an awesome trip exploring Mount Baker. If you are looking for sustainable clothes for your trip, make sure to check out the Sherpa Adventure Gear for Hiking today!