Excelsior Group Camp

Mount Baker Highway

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Overview

Located near the rushing Nooksack River in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Excelsior Group Camp offers access to numerous recreational activities popular in the north Cascades Mountains in Washington state.

Recreation

The area surrounding the campground is prime location for hiking, fishing and picnicking in summer and early fall.

Hikers and backpackers are especially fortunate to have access to a variety of trails near the campground and in the surrounding areas.

Horseshoe Bend Trail is an easy forest hike along the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, highlighting old-growth forests, gushing whitewater rapids and forest wildflowers. The trail follows the North Fork of the Nooksack River upstream to a stunning view of East Church Mountain. The trailhead can be accessed from the nearby Douglas Fir campground.

Another popular hike in the Mt. Baker Ranger District is the Skyline Divide Trail. This trail climbs steadily for two miles through forest into lush, open, flower-filled meadows with stellar views of glacier-draped Mt. Baker. The trail then wanders along Skyline Divide for another 1.5 miles, offering views of rivers, forests and countless peaks.

Facilities

There are two large group sites in the campground. Site A will sleep 50 people and has a group fire ring along with picnic tables ant fire pits at the tent sites. Site B accommodates 50 people and has picnic tables and fire pits. Vault toilets are also provided.

Natural Features

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest showcases rugged peaks, sparkling alpine lakes and old-growth forests. Mt. Baker, the most prominent feature of the nearby Mt. Baker Wilderness, rises to an elevation of 10,781 feet. This active volcano is perpetually snow-capped and mantled with an extensive network of creeping glaciers. Mt. Baker's summit, Grant Peak, is actually a 1,300-foot-deep mound of ice, which hides a massive volcanic crater. Fed by the high snowfields and glaciers of Mt. Baker, Mt.Shuksan and the Twin Sisters range, the Nooksack River system provides habitat for many species. Wildlife in the area includes five native salmon species, elk, bald eagles and black tailed deer. Migratory birds and black bears find ample habitat in the surrounding ecosystems.

Nearby Attractions

Visitors enjoy hiking, picnicking and photography in the Heather Meadows area located along the upper reaches of the Mt. Baker Scenic Byway, SR 542. Many popular hikes and climbing routes are located in the surrounding Mt. Baker Wilderness and backpackers enjoy visiting the northern reaches of North Cascades National Park.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Winter Backpack to Artist Point

    You do need a Northwest Forest Pass to park in the lot overnight. You can buy a day use E-pass online here (pick Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from the drop down menu) and print it out and it's ready to use. Or you can buy the annual pass...

    4 miles 1000 ft gain

  • Snowshoe to Huntoon Point

    This strenuous but rewarding hike takes you first to Austin Pass, where there is a great view of Mount Shuksan. Look out for skiers and snowboarders heading the opposite direction as you start out.The second major push heads further up to Kulshan ...

    6 miles 1200 ft gain

  • Hike to Chain Lakes

    Driving Directions: Travel east on Mt. Baker Highway 542 to the road's end and the Mount Baker Ski area. Follow the signs to the upper parking lot and the Bagley Lakes/Chain Lakes trailhead. The trail can also be accessed from Austin Pass and Arti...

    8 miles 1700 ft gain