Mt. Baker via Easton Glacier

July 24 - 25, 2020

Living in the upper-left corner of the United States, Mt. Baker is our friendly neighborhood volcano. At 10,781 feet, it is the third-highest mountain in Washington, and is one of the most heavily glaciated. The Easton Glacier route follows a relatively moderate line up the southern side of the mountain.

Over the past three years, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Mt. Baker from all directions. Surrounded by the Cascadian foothills, the mountain remains mostly hidden from view from sea level – except for certain vantage points. Lummi Island, Anacortes, and the farmlands north of Bellingham afford exceptional sunset views. 

Of course, there are several day hikes surrounding Baker, from where you can get unobstructed views close to the mountain. Just last weekend, Violet and I were camping on Shannon Ridge, and got a phenomenal view of the sunrise on the eastern face.

Day 1: Park Butte Trailhead to Easton Glacier Camp

Starting from the Park Butte Trailhead, we made quick work of the approach hike, and got to our camping spot in just about two hours. The air was completely saturated with moisture, so we didn’t get any views on the way in. The fog did make for a dramatic view of the Railroad Grade trail above the glacially carved valley.

Day 2: Camp - Summit - Trailhead

We woke up at 3 am, to a sky full of stars. The fog had completely disappeared, and we geared up and set off for the summit.

Stunning sunrise views to the south. Sloan Peak is in the center of the frame, and Mt. Daniel is in the distance. 

Approaching the Roman wall. The air was ripe with the smell of sulphur from Sherman Crater.

Approaching the summit.

The summit presented us with this absolutely arresting view of Mt. Shuksan. It’s not every day that you get to look down at a 9,000-ft mountain right next to you.

Climbers making their way up the Roman Wall. The Black Buttes (Lincoln, Colfax and Seward Peaks) are behind them. The Sisters Range is in the background, and you can even see the Olympic mountains in the distance.

The Easton Glacier is heavily crevassed, but the route doesn’t involve crossing any delicate snow bridges.

We didn’t know it the previous day because of the fog, but our campsite had a pretty epic backdrop. The city of yellow tents is from a guiding company.

Hiking out down the Railroad Grade trail.