Snowshoers, remember to share the snow, not the trails. Please help us keep our ski trails intact by walking on the shoulders outside the ski tracks. This is also a safety matter. The area between the ski tracks is reserved for skate skiers. Keep in mind also: Hannegan Road is often groomed by the club for snowshoers, and skiers with dogs. Thank you!
The parking area at Salmon Ridge is a Washington Ski Sno-Park and a permit is required to park.
When you do use the snowshoe trails at the Sno-Park, please send your reports to the web master at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Snowshoe Options Along Mt. Baker Highway, SR 542
CAUTION: An awareness of avalanche risk is vital. Know the hazard level of the terrain and current conditions. For current avalanche conditions, refer to Northwest Avalanche Center.
Excelsior Trail: Difficult. There is a sizable parking lot at the trail head on the north side of SR 542, east of milepost 42. A steep, forested trail leads to the open meadows that extend from Excelsior Pass east to Welcome Pass. Route finding skills recommended. The area at and near tree line is prone to avalanches. Parking is at 1800 feet. A Federal Recreation Pass is required for each vehicle at the trail head.
Hannegan Road: Easy-More Difficult. Just east of the DOT equipment sheds by milepost 46. There is a sizable parking area where Hannegan Road meets SR 542. Snowshoe along the Nooksack River to Ruth Creek or snowshoe up Hannegan Road for several miles, but do not go beyond Goat Mt trail head where there is severe avalanche danger. The area above tree line is prone to avalanches. The parking area is at 2,000 feet. A Federal Recreation Pass is required for each vehicle.
Silver Fir Campground: Easy. Parking is at the large Sno-Park east of milepost 46. A Sno-Park permit is required. The trail is across the highway from the Sno-Park. This trail is mostly flat, amid old growth, and goes by the Nooksack River. There is potential for avalanches along this trail. Sno-Park is at 2,000 feet.
Artists Point: More Difficult. Avoid this area during times of high avalanche danger. This trail crosses numerous avalanche chutes. Follow SR 542 to the end and park in the farthest corner of the farthest parking lot at the upper ski area. Follow the edge of the downhill ski area uphill; where the cat track turns left, go straight beyond an “out of bounds” sign. Parking lot is at 4200 feet.
Here is a great article by John D’Onofrio in Adventures NW Magazine with nice photos and additional suggestions for snow shoe adventures along Mt. Baker Highway, snow levels permitting. His suggestions, in addition to those above, include 4 locations that are free of permit requirements. Most are low, requiring opportunistic skiing after fresh snowfall:
- Twin Lakes Rd #3065
- Wells Creek Rd #33
- Glacier Creek Rd #39
- Deadhorse Rd #37
For snowshoeing opportunities on the Baker Lake Road, such as Schreiber’s Meadows, on the Mountain Loop Highway and Stevens Pass call the Sedro-Woolley office 360-856-5700 for current updates because the website is slow to update conditions.