The first 1.5kms of switchbacks are a pretty steady climb under the cover of fir and hemlock. The next 1.5km is interspersed with steep meadows and alpine forest. Late July and August bring out an array of alpine flowers. After about 3.5km of trekking, you reach the Skyline Divide crest (5800 feet), which is mostly above the tree line. Walking about 1km along the ridge, a knoll to the left of the main trail rises to about 6200 feet. From the knoll, you will experience a great view of Mt. Baker. From this vantage point, you can survey the trail you may wish to wander to bring you closer to the main peak.
Caution: Bring plenty of water for there is not much on the trail. We did the hike in mid August when the bugs, mainly flies, were attacking in swarms.
From the Glacier Public Service Center on Hwy 542, drive 1.6km east, then turn south onto Glacier Creek Road 39. Immediately take the left fork, Dead Horse Road 37, and drive along the south side of the North Fork Nooksack River. After about 6.5km, the road gets steep and rough with many switchbacks. After driving another approximately 14km, you will have achieved 2900 feet in elevation. The parking lot and trail head is at about 4400 feet.
Note: the road is easily passable using a low clearance vehicle - just be aware of the many potholes and dusty conditions.
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Posted By: vpigeon
- Mon Sep 12 04:11:52 UTC 2011
UpsideJust 2.5 k from parking lot to the open meadows, then great views along the divide. DownsideCan be bugs, depending on time of year (eg, late summer) CommentWe were there SEpt 9, 2011. Beautiful hot late summer day, lots of bugs along the trail through the trees, but seemed to disappear as we reached 1600 m or so.
Posted By: hikingsue
- Mon Aug 29 16:38:11 UTC 2005
UpsideGood access to trailhead. Nice glacier views. Lots of huckleberries. Very few bugs. DownsideUS Forest Service no longers accepts Canadian dollars for the parking fee - remember to take US cash. CommentThe bridge is now repaired so hikers can once again access this trail. The road in is in good condition. We hiked in on Sunday Aug. 28th and only saw about 15 people total - not what I would call a busy day for a Sunday. Although we had low cloud we still had a nice view of a few glaciers. My 15 year old daughter's only complaint was that the trail down was "evil" as it seemed to never end. Take your hiking poles to save your knees. We will definetely do this one again.
Posted By: kkoetter
- Thu May 30 01:21:37 UTC 2002
UpsideSpectacular views DownsideCome prepared with pleanty to drink (not much water once things dry up). Busy trail. Mid/Late season bugs can make you loose interest fast. CommentI would do the trail again. Plan to make a day of it (arrive early). Come prepared for bug and sun protection.