Not far from the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington, you’ll find the secret jewel of the area, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens are the more well known volcanoes in the Cascade region, and that means Mt Baker unfortunately tends to get overlooked. But you’ll soon get images of those former two mountains out of your head when you head up north along the highway and see this majesty towering over you.
The third tallest of the Cascade mountains and the second most snowy, Mt Baker provides both an out of the way mountaineering opportunity for those trying to get away from the heavy crowds of Rainier, and a cozy getaway for singles, couples, and families.
Mt Baker Lodging offers several accommodations in the area. During the winter season, we gathered the family together for a stay in the Glacier Springs area. This time, we stayed in the gated Snowline community, just a few minutes’ drive down the Mt Baker Highway from the town of Maple Falls. The mountain can be glimpsed from the road, hinting at the beauty the area has to offer.
Snowline is unique community, with wood-style cabins and a large communal area which includes a heated outdoor pool, tennis court, tetherball court, a basketball court, play area for kids and even a fishing pond.
Our cabin was a beautiful abode, with a large staircase leading up to a lookout viewpoint on top of a small hill. It gave the house a sense of privacy, and set up the porch as a serene place to sit with a cold drink on a hot day, or a warm drink in the winter.
Each cabin has its own individual vibe and comes stocked with all you need for the perfect weekend, with enough privacy and access to town when you need it. Pick up your keys at the check-in office at Maple Falls, and use the electronic sensor to open the gate when you drive in.
We stayed in Cabin 78, which included a large fireplace, with a couch and gigantic comfy chair surrounding it. The living area boasts large windows, which I bet would look amazing in the winter with snow falling. The place is clearly decorated for winter, with many wintering flavorings on the walls like snowshoes and ski posters. But it’s still extremely welcoming in the summer, with a ceiling fan cooling and portable fans in the bedrooms to beat the heat.
Entertainment is at your fingertips everywhere, with numerous books, CDs, DVDs, Legos, and board games to play. Flat screen TVs sit in the living room and the bedroom, and there’s even an old CRT TV with VHS tapes of kid’s films in the bunk beds room.
There’s a bedroom with a queen bed on both the ground and top floor, and each have a bathroom. The bunk bed room sleeps four, and more can bunk on the couch in the living room, or a futon in a small alcove next to the stairs. Coupled with the full kitchen, onsite washer and dryer, outdoor grill and the private hot tub, it’s perfectly suitable for large groups, and is pet friendly!
Hiking Mt Baker:
The obvious advantage to staying around a lush, wild area is the enormous amount of hiking opportunities. Trails exist nearby for those seeking an easier trek, and a handy guidebook is provided in the cabin to recommend different trails in the area. But if you’re made of sterner stuff, head up to the end of the highway at Artists Point and set out on the Chain Lakes Trail, the views are spectacular!
If you’re out of food to cook or looking for something more unique located just across the highway are a couple of food options, like Chair 9 Pizza & Bar. Additionally, not far down the road sits the small town of Glacier. There’s a few nice places to eat, but Italian was our persuasion, and Milano’s Restaurant filled our every desire. You’re sure to feel like you’re sitting in an Italian cafe, thanks to the homey decor of the Italian city banners hanging from the ceiling. If you remember to leave room for dessert, don’t miss the tiramisu.
We all tend to think of mountain visits as a winter thing, but Mt Baker is a success regardless of season. Winter or summer, it’s a blast. Get plenty of exercise and awesome pictures in the wild, and then come back to a warm, comfy cabin to unwind.
Mt Baker Lodging has nearly 100 cabins in the area ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms and a good amount are pet friendly. It makes for the perfect Mt Baker getaway come summer, spring or winter. We are currently running a giveaway where one lucky reader will win a two night stay in the Mt Baker Lodging, Snowater community. Be sure to enter for a chance to win!
**Huge thanks to Mt Baker Lodging for hosting us with a wonderful stay.