Climb Mt. Baker via Squak Glacier

Rate this Adventure Washington Squak and Easton Glacier Climbing Route Trailhead

Added by Devin K

Climb with incredible views of the North Cascades and San Juan Islands. This route is a great introductory glacier climb and an easier, quicker, and less crowded route up Mt. Baker.

NOTE: THIS ROUTE REQUIRES GLACIER TRAVEL SKILLS

Mt Baker, or Kulshan, is a remarkable mountain in northwest Washington. Whether you're in Anacortes, Bellingham, Vancouver or on the San Juan Islands you can see Mt Baker standing as a citadel over the Northwest. Unlike the more popular routes like the Coleman Deming and Easton, the Squak sees fewer people and provides the opportunity for a great ski directly to your car during the winter and spring. This route is around 10 miles roundtrip and can be done in a day or two.

The Squak starts at the same trailhead as the Easton route. Getting there requires taking Hwy 20 east out of Mt Vernon for 22 miles and turning left onto Baker Lake Rd. A little ways down Baker Lake Rd you'll turn left on NF Rd 12 and then right on NF Rd 13, which ends at the Schriebers Meadow parking lot.

From the parking lot take the Scott Paul Trail heading north towards the Squak Glacier. During the late spring, summer and fall, you can take this trail all the way to the toe of the glacier. In early spring and winter it is easiest to hike or skin north along the ridge line until you make it to a prow at 6513' that is labeled on the map as Crag View. Just above or below this point is a good place to camp or rest. From this point on you will be on the glacier. This portion should only take about 2-4 hours depending on how fast you ascend.

From Crag View to the top is relatively straightforward. Head north up the Squak Glacier toward Sherman Peak navigating through the crevasses. Once closer to Sherman Peak, around 9400', the glacier will taper off in steepness and this is where you will want to start traversing northwest towards what is called the Roman Wall, the final push to the summit. The base of the Roman Wall is a good place to take a short rest break because the Wall is the steepest part of the climb and the busiest. When you are ready, head straight up the Roman Wall to the false summit, about 1000'. At the top of the false summit you will see the true summit, 10781', to the east a short flat walk away. To reach the summit from Crag View should take anywhere from 2-5 hours depending on how much navigation is required to avoid crevasses.

The way down is the same as the way up. I highly recommend skiing it if you can and to the take the time to check out the crater. Be sure to soak up the sun and beauty on the way down!

A final cherry on top is to make a side trip to Annie's Pizza Station in Concrete, WA for some delicious pizza and beer to celebrate the adventure!

Pack List

  • Glacial travel equipment (crampons, rope, harness, ice axe, pulleys, etc.)
  • 4-season tent
  • 0° sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles
  • USGS Mt Baker Wilderness map
  • Stove
  • Food
  • Water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • Helmet
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Climbing pants
  • Insulated jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Mountaineering boots
  • Socks
  • First aid kit
  • Avalanche safety gear depending on season (beacon, probe, shovel)
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10 Miles

Elev. Gain:

7500 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Devin K

My passion is to be outside exploring. Every weekend my wife and I take off to the mountains or the desert to find something new. I try to capture the places we visit to share them with people to hopefully make a connection and a desire to protect these places.

More Adventures Nearby

Snowshoe to Panorama Point Mount Rainier National Park

Washington / Paradise Ranger Station

Arrive at Longmire in Mount Rainier National park about 9a.m.

Garrett Schmidt
2 Saves

Backpack to Grand Park in the Olympics

Washington / Obstruction Point Trailhead

The beauty of many of the north coast trails in the Olympic Peninsula is that your car does a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

Nick Lake
14 Saves

Hike to Three Fingers Lookout

Washington / Three Fingers Trailhead

Approximately 11 miles east of Granite Falls, WA, on the Mt. Loop Highway,  turn onto Forest Service road 41 and follow this road for 18.0 miles to the trailhead.

James Brady
50 Saves