MOUNT BAKER-SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST
This scenic National Forest is made up of large tracts in north and south-central Washington, including lands around both Mount Rainier National Park and North Cascades National Park. Highest point is 10,778-foot Mount Baker.
Along with steep volcanic mountains, there are many glaciers and snowfields, alpine meadows, and old-growth forests, with hundreds of lakes and streams, and also the Skagit National Wild and Scenic River. Forests are of spruce and fir, hemlock and cedar. Wildlife includes deer, elk, black bear, mountain goat, mountain lion, coyote, and bobcat.
There are eight designated wilderness areas: about half of the 464,000-acre Glacier Peak Wilderness, 120,000 acres of the 304,000-acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the 118,000-acre Mount Baker
Wilderness, parts of the 103,000-acre Henry M. Jackson Wilderness and the 51,000-acre Norse Peak Wilderness, plus the 49,000-acre Boulder River Wilderness, the 14,000-acre Clearwater Wilderness, and the 14,000-acre Noisy-Diobsud Wilderness.
Activities: Hiking and backpacking are possible on over 1,400 miles of trails, including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (see entry page 294). Difficulty varies from easy to strenuous. High trails may only be snow-free during August and September.
Horseback riding is allowed on most trails, as is mountain biking outside of wilderness areas. Many trails are suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during winter. Whitewater kayaking and canoeing are available on several rivers. Climbing is another option in the mountains here. Fishing is possible along lakes and streams, with hunting permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed throughout most of the National Forest, as are campfires, except near public use areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are required at this time. Campsites should be at least 100 feet from lakeshores. Group size in wilderness areas is limited to 12.
For Further Information: Mount Baker-Snoqual-mie National Forest, 21905 64th Avenue West, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043; (206)744-3409.