For weeks, as we traveled around the Olympic Peninsula and then hopped a ferry to Victoria, we caught glimpses of Mount Baker. When we got back to Washington, we decided to take a closer look. It was going to be a warm day in Bellingham, and we looked forward to the 30 mile drive to the cool, snowiness we’d been admiring from afar. Little did we know …

Mount Baker, WA

Mount Baker, WA

Imagine our surprise when we got to the trail head and the thermometer read 85 degrees! Who would have expected that shorts and snow shoes would be appropriate attire for a September hike? Unfortunately for us, we didn’t have the snow shoes – we really could have used them.

Mount Baker, WA

Mount Baker, WA

The road was only cleared to the parking lot – from there snow covering the road was still more than 10 feet deep in some places. Buster was in heaven – he loves the snow and we hadn’t seen any since mid-May in Flagstaff.

Mount Baker, WA
Mount Baker, WA

The reason for all the snow is that Mount Baker is covered by ten main glaciers. Combine that with record snowfall – 95 FEET in 1999 – and you’ve got precipitation with staying power.

Glaciers - Mount Baker, WA
Image from US Geological Survey

I wonder how many years it’s been since anyone has used this mountaintop restroom.

Mount Baker, WA

Notice how the boys are panting – they were actually hot. It was the strangest juxtaposition I’ve ever experienced. It felt like summer, flowers bloomed like it was spring, and there was more snow than I’d ever seen in the middle of winter.

Mount Baker, WA

Mount Baker, WA

There are miles of trails in the Mount Baker recreational area, and it lies within a national forest so your dog is welcome to join you. Pets must be leashed in developed areas (trailheads, campgrounds and picnic areas) and cannot be taken on Table Mountain Trail for safety reasons. Buster and Ty didn’t seem to mind at all.

Mount Baker, WA

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  • I’m laughing reading about your it’s hot, but snowy shock. It’s not uncommon here at all, especially up in the mountains. I can remember a whole lot of years when I’ve been snow bathing – like sun bathing, only your beach chair is actually perched on a blanket of snow.