Mt. Baker was a new peak experience for us and an easy 90 minute drive from our base in Bellingham, WA. In contrast to Mt. Rainier, you can drive most of the way up the mountain before starting your hike. This suited Miss Celia just fine. After safely handling the trails on Rainier, she had run afoul of a gopher hole at the Vashon farm wedding, and was ankle wrapped in an ace bandage inside her hiking boot.
The views from the trails were pretty awesome, but the forest fires in eastern WA. put a haze over everything and made us wonder how much more spectacular those views could have been.
We found kids snow tubing and skinny dipping near our peak, which was pretty cool – but for the rest of us it was pretty warm, even at the top. A lady from Seattle, adoptive mom of my young Ethiopian friend Isaiah, said she often hiked on Baker and this was the warmest she could remember.
Have to give Bellingham a shout out. A small town with a fine gastro pub, The Copper Hog, and nice dining on it’s waterfront, it makes a fine place to bunk when touring the Northern Cascades. And you have to stop at Graham’s in Glacier, on your way down from Mt. Baker. You will run into the same people you were on the mountain with, and every one is there to rehydrate with the $3.50 craft beer pints – a fine way to finish the day.