You have to hand it to Washington State trails. We hiked in comfort along an extremely well maintained trail (with one notable exception) almost all the way to the Ruth glacier. An alder and brush free zone ran for 5 feet on either side of the trail and we had superb views of Nooksack Ridge, Ruth Mountain, waterfalls & wildflowers almost every step of the way. The trail follows the Ruth Creek valley all the way to Hannegan Pass, gaining elevation gradually, mostly after the first 2 miles with only 2 or 3 switchbacks. There is no shortage of campsites near the Pass, some with spectacular 360 degree views of Mount Shuksan and of the Border Peaks, Larrabee, Tomyhoi, Slesse, Challenger and many other peaks.
Take I-5 to Bellingham then head east on WA 542/Mount Baker Highway for close to an hour. Once past the town of Glacier, by about 13 miles, take a left onto the Nooksack River Road 32. This is a dirt road just before the Nooksack River Bridge. If you find yourself driving with the Nooksack River on your left, or if you arrive at the Mt. Baker ski area, you've gone too far. Drive up the Nooksack River Road and at about a mile and a half take the uphill branch (FR 402) to the left. Proceed for about four miles to the end where there is a large parking lot with restrooms and a campground. Here you will find the Hennegan Pass trailhead.
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Posted By: doug phillips
- Tue Feb 06 14:48:59 EST 2007
UpsideNice, easy trail all the way to pass. One of the most beautiful valleys in the lower 48 - waterfalls, wildflowers, glaciers, very steep mountains.
DownsideHeavily traveled - in season, black flies will dominate you
CommentA true Shangri-la. Thank god I work weekends.
Posted By: gum
- Mon Sep 29 15:56:24 EDT 2003
CommentI recall that camping is NOT allowed at Hannegan Pass. The campsite is well below the pass.
Posted By: mountaingirl
- Thu Aug 28 03:44:47 EDT 2003
UpsideEasy access, excellent trail, unbeatable views.
DownsideMay be busy as its a popular trail.
CommentI did this trail en route to two of the local peaks. More pictures and mountaineering trip report for this area on my web site: http://mountaingirl.net/ruth_icy0803