An excellent loop that doesn’t really go anywhere, unless you count miles of brilliant alpine meadows and rugged glacial moraine slopes as worthy destinations. Enjoy a scenic journey at the base of Mount Baker, complete with breathtaking close-ups of the hulking volcano as well as sweeping views of the surrounding sea of North Cascades peaks.
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Last day of North Cascades Institute getaway. Hike the Schriebers Meadows Loop via the Scott Paul Trail. The aroma of lupine in full bloom was remarkable on this pleasant loop.
Participants include Nicole Hansen and Louise Kornreich.
Reference: Green Trails Hamilton No. 45. Day Hiking: North Cascades, by Craig Romano, No. 57 Scott Paul Trail. Best Loop Hikes Washington, by Dan A. Nelson, No. 24 Schriebers Meadows.
From Burlington (exit 230 on I-5), head east on the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) for 23 miles, turning left (north) onto Baker Lake Road (between mileposts 82 and 83). Continue 12 miles and turn left on Forest Road 12 (the turnoff is 0.2 mile after you enter the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest). Drive 3.5 miles, turn right onto FR 13 (signed “Mt Baker National Recreation Area”), and follow it for 5.2 miles to its terminus at the large trailhead parking area (elev. 3300 ft). Primitive camping and privy available.
Trailhead GPS coordinates (48.7067,-121.8122)
Forest Service Pass required.
8.5 miles, 1945 ft. gain, 5 hrs 7 min.