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Skyline Divide

22$ per person for gas and the wear and tear on the drivers car..

Black bears do frequent this area so I would like 2 to 3 people to carry bear spray...Please comment if you have a bear spray and if you can drive.

cell...206 [masked]

Roundtrip 9.0 miles

Elevation Gain 2500 ft

Highest Point 6563 ft

Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.


With miles of flower-saturated meadows along a rolling lofty ridge radiating from the big volcano itself, Skyline Divide is one of Baker's best offerings to the hiking community. While the views are supreme-from the snowy peaks of British Columbia to the salty waters of Puget Sound-you'll struggle keeping your eyes off of what the area's first peoples called Koma Kulshan, "the Great White One." A popular place on a summer weekend, Skyline provides enough nooks and crannies to spread out. And while this hike is 4.5 miles long, feel free to quit anytime after 2 miles-there's no shortage of views along the way.

Without delay, begin climbing in a beautiful stand of mature silver fir. The trail is wide and firm; many a boot has walked this way. As you toil up and up, steeply at times, let the anticipation of alpine rapture carry you to the ridge crest. Approaching timberline, the trail passes into the Mount Baker Wilderness. At 2 miles clutch your heart and prepare for visual attack as the trail emerges onto a grassy knoll (elev. 5900 ft), unfurling a backdrop of the Great White One, surrounded by some pretty darn nice ones.

Roam the knoll. Look out to Shuksan, Ruth, Table, Goat, Winchester, and of course, Koma Kulshan. Be sure to smell the flowers too. Lupine, harebell, bistort, valerian, daisy, and aster make bountiful bouquets beside your boots. But it gets better, so carry on. Drop a little into a small saddle, a little up and down, and then sidehill around the next knoll, coming to a flat where Baker poses ever so majestically for your memory card to capture. Climb the 6215-foot knoll or continue on the ridge.

With Baker now breathing upon you and bearing a slight resemblance to Rainier from this angle, come to an unmarked junction at 3.5 miles in a small saddle (elev. 6000 ft). The trail left continues for 1 mile, dropping a couple hundred feet into a wild peaceful basin. The trail right continues on a rougher route along the divide, climbing higher. Over ledge and through krummholz and heather, work your way up to yet another knoll, number six if you're keeping track, and call it quits upon this 6563-foot gem. Beyond to Chowder Ridge is strictly for climbers and goats.

Look at all those mountains! The Cheam Range, Golden Ears, and McGuire in Canada, the High Divide and company in front of them. East is Yellow Aster Butte, Shuksan, and a slew of craggy goliaths. The Black Buttes and Twin Sisters are to the south, and the Olympics and San Juan Islands lie to the west. Simply amazing!


Driving Directions:

From Bellingham follow the Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) east for 34 miles to the Glacier Public Service Center. Continue east another 0.8 mile, turning right onto Forest Road 39 (Glacier Creek Road). Then immediately turn left onto FR 37 (signed "Skyline Trail 12"), following this rough, at times gravel road 12.8 miles to its terminus and the trailhead (elev. 4300 ft). Privy available.


From Glacier travel east on The Mt. Baker Highway 542 for approximately
1 mile past the Glacier Public Service Center to Glacier Creek Road
#39. Turn right onto Road #39, then take an immediate left onto
Deadhorse Road #37. Travel 12.7 miles to the trailhead and parking area
located at the end of the road.

General Notes:

Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.


Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service.  Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience.  Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level. You may join us on this hike at your own risk.  Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains.  You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.

Signing up for any Trailside organized event indicates that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all Trailside Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.



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