Description - The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, extends over 140 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains from the Canadian border to the northern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park. The Forest offers a variety of recreation sites including more than 50 campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic viewpoints, water sport and snow play areas and hundreds of lakes, rivers and streams.
Copyright: D. Mullineaux-USGS
Glacier Peak in the Cascade Range
- Picturesque beauty ranges from glacier-cut valleys, to the rugged, ice-capped mountains of the North Cascades. Glaciers dominate the northern portion where some mountains rise far above 7,000 feet. The most prominent is 10,778-foot Mt. Baker, located in the Mt. Baker Wilderness, one of eight Congressionally designated wildernesses on the Forest. Wilderness areas cover 42 percent of the total forest acreage.
The Skagit River is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. It flows cold and clear, filled with spawning salmon during late summer, autumn, and early winter. Hundreds of bald eagles migrate south to the Skagit River from Alaska and Canada during the winter feeding on dead salmon that wash up on gravel bars. Six other major rivers, not designated as Wild & Scenic, flow west from the crest of the Cascades to Puget Sound. Each drainage, with its steep-sided valleys carved by glaciers, has trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and unique features.
Recreation - The Forest offers a variety of recreation sites including more than 50 campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic viewpoints, and water sport and snow play areas. There are over 1,500 miles of hiking trails including portions of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The Forest also provides ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, river rafting, and bird watching.
The Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest features a 1,500-mile trail system that leads to some of the most attractive destinations in the northwest.
Four major downhill ski areas are administered by this Forest: The Summit at Snoqualmie, east of Seattle on Interstate 90; Stevens Pass Ski Area, east of Skykomish on U.S. Hwy. 2; Crystal Mountain Ski Area, southeast of Enumclaw on State Route 410; Mt. Baker Ski Area, east of Bellingham on State Route 542.
Currently the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie has 119 miles of designated cross-country ski trails in its forest trail inventory.
Climate - Climate on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie changes drastically with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Deep winter snowpacks accumulate in the high elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is less frequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is located in Washington State. It extends over 140 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains from the Canadian border to the northern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park.
The Forest is headquartered twelve miles north of Seattle in Mountlake Terrace with District offices in Sedro Woolley, Darrington, Skykomish, North Bend and Enumclaw. The Forest also operates an outdoor recreation information center in downtown Seattle in partnership with the National Park Service. Visitor information centers at Snoqualmie Pass and Heather Meadows, and public service centers in Verlot and Glacier are also open on a seasonal basis.