Magazine article Sunset

Peak for All Seasons: A March Trip to Washington's Mt. Baker Lets You Sample Springtime and a Little Winter Too

Magazine article Sunset

Peak for All Seasons: A March Trip to Washington's Mt. Baker Lets You Sample Springtime and a Little Winter Too

Article excerpt

YOU'RE IN SEATTLE when suddenly there's a burst of sun and blue sky. Quick! What to do when the Northwest's inclement weather suddenly clears? Mt. Baker makes an ideal escape when you're dying to get outdoors, but don't have time to venture too far from the city.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Two and a half hours north of Seattle, the gleaming crest of Mt. Baker rises like a 10,778-foot beacon. At least that's the way my husband and I feel early one Friday evening in March as we drive up I-5 and turn east onto the Mt. Baker Highway. Also known as State 542, it follows the North Fork of the Nooksack River, passing both tree and horse farms and, finally, moss-cloaked stands of fir, cedar, and hemlock. Less than 30 miles from the rocky shores of Puget Sound, we're surrounded by lofty North Cascades National Park's peaks, with Mt. Baker's ice-white mantle framed over the dashboard.

Dinner at Milano's in the small town of Glacier makes the ultimate sea-to-ski-slopes meal. We tuck into salmon with a citrus-fennel sauce, and linguine with heaps of succulent clams harvested from Taylor Shellfish Farms, just down the road in Samish Bay.

The next day we awake to sweeping views up the Nooksack Valley and across to Mt. Baker from our room at the Inn at Mt. Baker, a wood-shingled B&B. Over breakfast we ponder the many ways to spend the day, soon realizing why Mt. Baker is so great in March: You can choose which season you're in the mood for. We can dive right into spring with a hike around Nooksack Falls, or trade our hiking boots for ski boots to catch some end-of-season fun at the Mt. Baker Ski Area.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

We decide to do both. First we walk along boulders to Wells Creek and Nooksack Falls, which we can hear before we see: two powerful strands of the Nooksack plunging 100 feet off a sheer rock face before crashing in a mess of spray below.

A bit farther up the highway, the road turns south, crosses Bagley Creek, and climbs 3 more miles to the base of the Mt. Baker Ski Area. While there still might be 200 inches of snow at the base of Mt. Baker in March, the lift lines are shorter and the days are longer at this time of year. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.