Ski Area Guide Part 1 – Mt Baker (Washington, USA)
Oneskee Brand Ambassadors Joel & Portia are currently on a crazy winter roadtrip around 35+ ski resorts in Canada and the US! Along the way they are giving us the inside scoop & tips for us to share with you…first stop Mt Baker, Washington!
Over to the guys…
First stop on the road trip took us to Mt Baker Ski Area in Northwest Washington. Definitely a ski hill you must have on your bucket list! With an average snowfall of 641 inches (16.3m) annually there is always fresh snow to shred. They even hold the world record for snowfall in a season – an insane 1140 inches (29m)!!
The peak of the ski area reaches 5089ft, has a total skiable area of roughly 1000 acres and to get you around it all there are 8 quad chairlifts. There are two main day lodges at Baker, Heather Meadows and White Salmon. A wrong turn in the dark and heavy snow took us to Heather Meadows so we settled in there for the night, along with around 30 other RV’s, Caravans and Camper van’s. It’s free to stay overnight in RV’s at either base so that was 1 point from us straight away. Take note – Heather Meadows lodge is only open on weekends and holidays.
We awoke to around 15” of fresh pow so it was an early morning to try get first chair up the mountain. Chair 1 takes you to the top from Heather Meadows and is classed as an ‘experts only’ lift however there were easier routes so don’t be too alarmed by the ‘Expert’ signage. At the top the powder was deep and plentiful. Not knowing the area, the only option was to follow the locals and wow did they know the best stashes! ‘The Chute’, ‘Gabl’s’ and ‘Pan-Face’ are definitely the ones to check out in the powder! You’re going to want to look for chairs 1, 5 & 6 as they get you right where you need to be.
If you are into touring there are plenty of close hikes right from the top of the lifts. We never did any of them however a few proud locals on lifts were telling us all about them, they were so friendly and so keen to tell us all about their home mountain and how much they love it!
After shredding pow for hours you’re going to work up an appetite and with the bbq aroma flying high you’ll soon end up in the Raven Lodge for lunch which has delicious burgers and cold beers. Burgers were $12-$14 and beer on tap around $4. A few more runs to burn the burger off and chances are you’ll make your way up to ‘The Tap Room’ at Heather Meadows for a couple of après beverages!
- Elevation – 5089ft (1551m)
- Vertical drop – 1489ft (484m)
- Skiable area – 1000 acres (4.0km2)
- Avg. snowfall – 641” (16.3m)
- Lifts – 8 quads, 2 tows
- Runs – 31
- 24% beginner
- 45% intermediate
- 31% expert
Access & Accommodation
Mt Baker is fairly remote and is at the end of the state route 542 not far from its local town ‘Glacier’ where most of the Baker locals live. It’s around a 2hr drive from Vancouver & a bit over 2.5hr from Seattle. There is no on-mountain accomodation unless you have an RV, but there are a few nice places to stay down in Glacier or a little further in Maple Creek.
Prices & Dates
The ski season typically runs from Mid/end of November and runs til late April with lifts spinning from 9am-330pm daily. Daily lift tickets are around $60 US for adults & $30 for children.
Pro’s & Cons
- Great snow
- No snowmaking (everyone loves real snow)
- Quite remote so not too busy
- Free RV parking
- Friendly & Helpful locals
- Poor signage and trail markings (especially if it’s a whiteout)
- No wifi at any of the lodges
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our short time at Mt Baker and will definitely be back some day! Happy Shredding and stay tuned as we continue our road trip through 35+ ski resorts in North America!
Joel & Portia – @oznpom_ontour
SHOP THE LOOK:
Men’s: Black & White Ski Suit
Women’s: Vintage Blue Ski Suit