Mt. Baker Ski Area, located in the North Cascades of Washington, averages a whopping average yearly snowfall of over 600 inches. The mountain’s 1,000 skiable acres are serviced by 8 lifts, 2 rope tows, 2 day lodges and 31 runs. Mount Baker’s summit elevation of 5,089 feet delivers skiers and riders 1,500 feet of vertical.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest surrounds the ski area, providing numerous summer activities, including hiking, biking, fishing and more.
Mt. Baker is located approximately 130 miles north of Seattle, Washington, and 86 miles east of Vancouver, BC. It’s also a little over an hour from Bellingham and Abbotsford, BC. Snow chains may be needed to get to the resort during winter.
The easiest places to eat are right in the resort, and you do have quite a few options to satisfy every taste bud.
While there aren’t many nightlife options at this small resort, you can find a couple of places to go, including the following:
Mt. Baker is really a local’s type of ski resort. It’s rather small, but does have a lot to offer skiers and boarders. It receives on average 663 inches of snow, the unofficial largest amount of snow of any resort in the world. In fact, in the 1998 to 1999 season, the ski area recorded 1,140 inches of snow in a single season. The top elevation is 5,089 feet. The base elevation of White Salmon is 3,500 feet and 4,300 feet for Heather Meadows. There’s a vertical drop of 1,589 feet.
With 1,000 skiable acres along with a number of backcountry trails that can be accessed from the chairlifts, you’re bound to find an area that fits your thrill requirements and experience level. The breakout is 24% green, 45% blue and 31% black diamond. Mt. Baker does not have a terrain park. The season typically runs from late November until late April.
Beginners are encouraged to take advantage of the two handle-tow surface lifts. Each mountain has one. Or, hop onto Chair 2, and go to the Heather Meadows Lodge area. The Gabl’s run and the backcountry in Elbow are designed only for expert skiers. Intermediate skiers can access appropriate terrain for their skill level via Chair 5.
The resort is home to the Legendary Baked Slalom, which is a slalom snowboard race through a natural halfpipe. The winter receives a duct tape trophy and a Carhartt jacket.
Mt. Baker has been known to claim that it has the best snow base in North America – despite the sometimes uneven snowfall. While you can go to the resort for a getaway weekend, it’s also close enough to Seattle (three hours) and Bellingham (one and a half hours) to do a day trip.
It’s typically not crowded unless it’s the weekends, and there’s fresh powder. So, if possible, head to resort during the week.
Mt. Baker has a few amenities for a small ski resort, including a café, ski rentals and shops. Group and private ski instruction are also available onsite. Kids six and under can get a free lift ticket. Besides skiing, your kids – or the kids at heart – can go sledding, snow tubing or snowshoeing. For tubing and sledding, head to Highwood Lake, and park at Heather Meadows Lodge to take advantage of these free activities. For snowshoeing, go to Artist Point, which is also accessible from Heather Meadows parking lot.