The Pacific Northwest has some incredible wilderness areas to explore. The Coast Mountain range stretches along the Pacific coast from Canada to Oregon. In this wild landscape you can find many outdoor adventures to take up your time. One of the best places to visit is located in the north-west corner of Washington State, where you will find the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and a 3286 meter (10,781 foot) tall active volcano.
On a clear day, you can see Mt Baker from many different points in Vancouver. While it may seem quite far away, you can drive from downtown Vancouver to Glacier, WA in less than 2 hours. Mt Baker is an incredible skiing and snowboarding destination in the winter. In the past, they have set many snowfall records set here, and is a cheaper alternative to Whistler.
The north-west of Washington State and the south-west of British Columbia are part of the same valley, with only an imaginary line that draws any difference between the two. Seattle is only a 3-4 hour drive from Vancouver. Between these two cities, there are many great hidden gems to explore. The beautiful Mt Baker is much closer to Vancouver than it is to Seattle, but because of the border, not many people think of taking the short trip south when they visit Vancouver.
If you’ve come to the west coast to explore the wilderness, this is the place. It is one hidden gem that should be included in your itinerary. Early in the summer, I met up with a friend who lives in White Rock, and we decided to hop in the car and go for a drive across the border. Our travel plans were non existent. We went with no real intentions, planning simply to grab a bite to eat, fill the car with gas and explore somewhere new.
We brought our hiking boots, just in case, as we had originally planned on looking for a hike. The GPS was set for the town of Glacier and just went driving through the mountains. Our first stop was at the visitors center to get a couple maps of the area, to see which trails were recommended. We first decided to make a detour a little bit north of Glacier, to visit Silver Lake. It’s quite possible that we spent a little bit too much time here enjoying the scenery and a short walk around the lake, so by the time we got back to town and had a snack at a local bakery, we decided against going for a longer hike.
We instead found a logging road to head up for a short drive, just to explore somewhere new. Along the way, we ended up at a clear cut area, which allowed us some incredible views across the valley. We hopped back in the car, armed with some new hiking maps, excited to come back again soon to explore. We intended to return later in the summer to explore again, but the summer quickly passed us by, and we had to postpone until the summer of 2020.
There are some really incredible easy and moderate hikes we plan to do, including Artists Ridge, which accessible from the parking lot at Mt Baker. We’re excited to go exploring. The Pacific Northwest and southern British Columbia are connected in many ways. Growing up in Vancouver, it’s always fun finding new adventures so close to home. We’re looking forward to going back and exploring more.