Winter Hike to Rainbow RIdge

Rate this Adventure 4.5 miles 1200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Thadd Zehnder

Can't stand crowds? Love fresh snow and big views? Of you answered yes then this might be the winter adventure for you.

Turn left off of the Grandy-Baker Lake Road onto FS RD 1130 just past the Boulder Creek Campground. Stay right at the first fork in the road. At 3.9 miles go right towards Rainbow Falls.  The falls are located at a large bend in the road at approximately 4.5 miles.  I have never found a good safe way of seeing these falls in their entirety. At 9.5 miles arrive at the trailhead.  Please note that in the winter you may not be able to get this far by vehicle.

From the trailhead continue up the abandoned road to your left for approximately 0.5 miles before entering the forest.  When there is no snow the trail is evident.  Not so much in the winter.  I recommend hiking this one at least once during the summer to get familiar with where the trail is.  I also recommend using flagging tape to mark your trail on the way up and mark often.  Finding the ridge at the top is easy, finding your car on the side of mountain on the way down might not be.  Don't count on being able to follow your tracks back down as new snow may cover them.

Go up. Go up some more.  You'll know when you are there.  I wish there were better directions in the winter but if you've hiked this one in the summer you'll understand.  The trail isn't all that nice to start with and it does go straight up for the most part. Once on the ridge there are miles to explore.  Views of Baker Lake, Mount Baker and Shuksan are right in your face.  You can see Shannon and Ptarmigan ridges from here, heck you can see forever on a clear day. Plan on spending several hours up here if your day allows; remember that the days are short and once the sun dips behind the flanks of Mount Baker its going to get cold and dark fast.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Concrete, Washington

Horseshoe Cove Campground

Overview Horseshoe Cove Campground is nestled under a canopy of forest along the banks of Baker Lake. Located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest which stretches along the west side o...

Concrete, Washington

Boulder Creek Campground

Overview Boulder Creek Campground sits along the banks of Boulder Creek in the stunning Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The unique setting offers many recreational activities and scenic views...

Concrete, Washington

Park Creek Campground

Overview Park Creek Campground sits along the banks of Park Creek in the stunning Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The unique setting offers many recreational activities and scenic views. B...

Concrete, Washington

Panorama Point Campground

Overview Panorama Point campground is located on the western shore of Baker Lake in the stunning Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Situated on the west side of the Cascades in Washington, th...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Rainbow Ridge

    Directions are from SR 20.  Turn onto the Baker Lake Road and drive north approximately 18 miles.  Drive past the Boulder Creek Campground on your right and across the bridge spanning the creek.  Take the first left onto FS RD 1130. In about 1.5 m...

    4.5 miles 1200 ft gain

  • Kayak Baker Lake

    Just over 2 hours northeast of Seattle, Baker Lake is an often overlooked gem of the North Cascades. With 8+ miles of turquoise green water to explore, Baker Lake makes for a great day trip or overnight trip, with plenty of backcountry boat-in cam...

  • Climb Mt. Shuksan via The Sulphide Glacier Route

    The Sulphide Glacier is the easiest and most popular route to the summit of Mt. Shuksan, and is a great beginner’s glacier + rock climb. More experienced climbers may enjoy the Fisher Chimneys route. The route described here makes for a very long ...

    16 miles 6600 ft gain

  • Hiking the Kulshan Ridge

    This hike starts out at Artist Point, where already you can see jaw-dropping scenery of Mt. Shuksan, Baker, Coleman, and many other peaks of the North Cascades. No matter what time of year you visit, you are bound to get unbelievable views and pho...