The Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie National Forests are combined and
operated by the the Forest Service as one Forest, Mt Baker-
Snoqualmie National Forest. It is located in north western
Washington, bordered by Canada in the north and Mt. Rainier
National Park in the south. Mt. Baker National Forest is
comprised of 1,282,293 acres. Snoqualmie National Forest is
comprised of 1,239,665 acres. There are 59 developed campgrounds
of which 24 meet the selection criteria.
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (NF) stretches 140 miles
from Canada down the western slope of the Cascade Mountains to
north boundary of the Mt. Rainier National Park. There are many
national forests that have been "combined" over the years but not
many national forests are as big as the combined Mt. Baker and
Snoqualmie. Most of those "combined" forests eventually merge so
completely they lose their individualism. It is hard to see that
happening to the Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie National Forests. They
are two wonderful forests offering a wide variety of recreation
opportunities and developed campgrounds for all to enjoy.
As the name implies, the Mt. Baker National Forest's centerpiece
is the towering glaciated Mt. Baker. Its glaciers and snow
fields last through the summer, melting in the summer sun to feed
the surrounding streams, rivers, and lakes. State Rt. 542,
a.k.a. Mt. Baker Scenic Highway, follows the Nooksack River, fed
by Mt Baker's melting snow, from the beautiful Heather
Meadow and Artist Point, with its picture-perfect image of Mt.
Baker, through the quaint town of Granite, WA. Beside the opaque
blue-green glacier meltwater are the attractive and rustic Silver
Fir and Douglas-Fir campgrounds. Either one is a good base camp
for exploring the north side of Mt. Baker and offers campers a
delightful camping experience in massive old firs.
Hugging the south side of Mt. Baker is the Mt. Baker National
Recreation Area. It has no developed campgrounds but permits
dispersed camping and has lots of hiking and climbing trails for
up-close-and-personal discovery of the mountain. If a Forest
visitor is interested in just relaxing and enjoying a variety of
water play then Shannon Creek and Panorama Point campgrounds will
be just what they want. For campers in a recreational vehicle,
Park Creek provides a peaceful camping experience away from the
Running the length of the Mt. Baker NF is North Cascades National
Park. There are several trailheads in the Forest providing
access to the park but the most convenient Forest campgrounds to
the Park are Mineral Park and Marble Creek. Deep in the woods
with lush green vegetation and next to the North Fork of Cascade
River, campers will think they have traveled deep into a
wilderness but are only 16 and 8 miles, respectively, from State
Snoqualmie National Forest may not have a single spectacular
feature like Mt. Baker but does have some wonderfully scenic
areas accessed by one of four mountain passes. These passes are
Stevens Pass (Route 2), Snoqualmie Pass (Interstate 90), Chinook
Pass (State Route 410), and Barlow Pass (State Route 92). Each
gives visitors another adventure experience.
Barlow Pass suffered storm damage in 2006 so visitors can't drive
Rt 92, a.k.a. Mountain Loop Highway, through from Granite to
Darrington, WA but there is still lots to see and do. Along with
the seasonal whitewater opportunities of Stillaguamish River's
South Fork, there is hiking, fishing, and plain old exploring.
This is a historic area. Visitors staying at Red Bridge, Gold
Basin, Verlot, and Turlo campgrounds will get a better
understanding of the important contributions made by the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees to today's forest and camping
opportunities, with a visit to the Verlot Public Service Center.
The north end of Barlow Pass has two developed campgrounds (Bedal
and Clear Creek) for visitors to use when exploring that area.
The day hike to North Fork Sauk Falls from Bedal campground is
one popular activity along with Steelhead fishing. For those who
prefer to not sleep on the ground but want to discover this part
of the forest there is the historic Suiattle (pronounced "Sue-
attle") Guard Station available for rent. (Contact the Mt.
Baker-Snoqualmie Supervisor's Office for information on it and
other cabin rentals.)
One feature of Stevens Pass is the Iron Goat Trail. Walking
along the Iron Goat Trail, following an abandoned Great Northern
Railway grade, is a stroll through history surrounded by scenic
beauty. It is a quick trip from Money Creek and Beckler River
campgrounds to the Iron Goat Trail for a volunteer-led hike. The
nearby community of Skykomish hints at what the area must
have been like when the Great Northern Railway was making regular
visits to the area.
The busy Snoqualmie Pass may not seem like a great place for
camping but Tinkham campground is convenient for transient
overnight campers. Further off I-90 is the popular Denny Creek
campground which features a handful of campsites with electric
hook-ups and flush toilets. The nearby Asahel Curtis Nature
Trail provides visitors with insight to the area's plants,
animals and geology, plus the water slides on Denny Creek and
pleasant hike to Franklin Falls combine to make Denny Creek
campground a delightful experience.
Chinook Pass, a feature of State Rt. 410, a.k.a Mather Memorial
Parkway, provides visitors with access to Mt. Rainier National
Park. Just north of the Park's boundary are two sweet little
Forest campgrounds - The Dalles and Silver Springs. Although
both campgrounds are good base camps for exploring the Park, it
might be difficult to leave the lush, tranquil environment found
at either campground except for a brief day trip to the Park.
With the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest covering such a
large area, the number and variety of recreational activities are
also numerous and varied. Rugged mountains carved by ice-age
glaciers, upwards of 800 lakes many in alpine environments, 1,500
miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, and several wild
and scenic rivers, offer endless possibilities for discovery.
Visitors to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest can take a
quiet walk beside a glacier-fed stream, observe a pair of Bald
eagles soaring, challenge the snowy face of Mt Baker, canoe a
mountain lake, roast a perfect marshmallow at their campfire,
relax in the solitude of a pristine wilderness, and capture a
great sunset and magnificent bull elk on film. These are just a
few of the opportunities awaiting visitors to Mt. Baker-
Snoqualmie National Forest. Come and discover what awaits you.
2930 Wetmore Ave.
Everett, Washington 98201
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
1405 Emmens St.
Darrington, Washington 98241
810 State Route 20
Sedro-Wooley, Washington 98284
74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy
Skykomish, Washington 98288
450 Roosevelt Ave. E.
Enumclaw, Washington 98022
Snoqualmie-North Bend Office
42404 SE North Bend Way
North Bend, Washington 98045