in Whatcom County
Copied and pasted from an old version of this website (will update at some point…)
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.
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
Further afield, check out Schreiber’s Meadows (on the south side of Mt. Baker, the Mountain Loop Highway and Stevens Pass.