Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Overview
|Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (Paul Edmondson/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty)|
Located near Seattle, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is huge. It stretches across the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, from the Canadian border and North Cascades National Park to the northern boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. Vast 10,000-acre glaciers that sprawl in the northern part of the forest formed the harsh, dramatic, and rugged landscape. Mountain peaks over 10,000 feet plunge quickly into valleys at sea level. On top of all this, there is Mount Baker itself, which is still an active volcano; the Sherman Crater emits steam and sulfuric gases.
If you want to know what kind of weather to expect, well, that all depends on where exactly you're planning to go, since the climate varies dramatically within the forest. The Cascades create their own weather, pulling in Pacific Ocean storms. Huge masses of water-logged clouds come out of the ocean and slam into the mountain range most of the year. Valley bottoms, near the western edge of the forest, are typically dry and resemble the Sierras in climate; they receive only 30 to 60 inches of rain each year, while higher elevations get over 500 inches, mostly in the form of snow. At the higher elevations, 20 feet of snow on the ground is standard during the winter. Moreover, in some areas, snow does not melt until midsummer.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest isn't kidding around, so be prepared. It is a long, diverse area that is breathtaking, tough, and promising enough to excite even the most jaded adventurers.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication