This is an incredible hike with many reasons to do it including amazing views, up close look at glacier, wonderful colors (depending on season), and fun stream crossings.

Starting at the marked Heliotrope Ridge parking lot of FS Road 39, just 8 miles out of the quaint town of Glacier, Washington, you begin your ascent to the glacier viewpoint. The trailhead sign indicates that it is a strenuous 2,000 ft gain over 2.5 miles up to the overlook.

This clearly cut trail switchbacks its way up the hillside over several drainages. You will cross several streams on this trek; be mindful, in spring these can surge in the afternoon making it a bit tricky on your return trip. Totally worth the journey even if you get your feet wet!

There will be one sign on trail indicating the split for climbers to head straight up the hillside to their camp before heading to the peak. Here a turn left takes day hikers across the hillside. After the several crossings you will come up to the cliff carved away by the ancient glacier. You may see some climbers trails accessing the face of the beast.

Head up if you are ok with some exposure and hiking on some loose rocks. Touching a glacier is something everyone should experience. Otherwise sit back, listen to the cracking of the giant while you soak up the sun and eat some lunch. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Extra pair of socks in case of an accidental dunk
  • Water
  • Picnic lunch to enjoy at the viewpoint
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RT Distance 5.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1500 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome summer hike

My boyfriend and went out and hiked it at a faster pacer in approx 3 hours with plenty of stops. We both agree this is one of our new favorites in Washington.

Amazing Views

It almost felt like cheating, getting this good of a view of Mt. Baker with relatively little effort. Absolutely love this diverse trail and enjoy the stream crossings, the last substantial one gushing out between boulders forcing me to wade through with water to my knees.

Streams And Glacier!

Really enjoyed this hike! July 18, 2015. Relaxed hike, not much for steep inclines though we still broke a sweat. It was enjoyable, probably took us about 2 hours up and 1 hour down. We weren't paying much attention to time since it was a short hike. the trail itself is pretty basic, the only concerns would be crossing the river. Some streams are quite simple, but the main river was a little sketchy! Would recommend kids or senior in light of the stream. You will end up with a fantastic view of the glacier and will see many hikers with overnight packs as they will be setting up camp just a bit farther before taking on Mt Baker summit the following day!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

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