The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has some of the best trails to be found anywhere and they’re close to home. Since we loved hiking Chain Lakes Loops on Mt. Baker a few weeks ago, we decided to return to try out a more strenuous hike.
We chose to hike a trail called Heliotrope Ridge. It was listed as strenuous in our hiking book and 6.5 miles return with an elevation gain of 2000 feet. In total, it should take a person 5-6 hours to hike both up and down.
The forested path reveals tinkling creeks and leads to fields of wildflowers. At the final crest of the trail, you come face-to-face with the deeply crevassed world of Coleman Glacier, the largest of Mt. Baker’s 12 glaciers.
The scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
My girls and their cousin Zach ready to begin the hike. A trail head photo was mandatory before beginning on the trail.
Our family hiking together. My hubby’s life long dream coming true.
My sister-in-law Deanna and I stop to take a forest selfie. Why not?
The flowers we found in the fielded areas of the mountain. It was beautiful. I wanted to pick a bunch to bring home a bouquet for my kitchen table.
Almost at the glacier!
The creeks of running stream water.
Crossing the streams. Most of the streams were easy for little girls to walk across while holding on to our hands but a few of the streams were too big and forceful so Daddy had to carry them across. Either way, crossing the streams felt super adventurous!
Daredevil me trying to cross the stream without losing my balance. My first attempt ended with my foot slipping off a rock and me plunging into the water. It was a funny sight and my girls laughed their heads off. I was more careful the second time around.
Although our girls did an amazing job at keeping up throughout the hike, a certain little one did need rides atop of Daddy’s shoulders every now and then to give her little legs a rest. Daddy was happy to oblige.
The end of our hike was met with this … a beautiful glacier at the mountain top. Simply amazing. This view made the sweat and energy it took to climb the mountain completely worth it. We stood there looking at the mass of blue snow in awe and we couldn’t belief we could be so close to something so surreal.
That’s the beauty of hiking and exploring nature, it exposes you to the true beauty of our surroundings and makes us appreciate how fortunate we are to live in such a exquisitely gorgeous corner of the world. Everyone needs to climb a mountain every now and then. It’s fuel for the soul.
Have you gone on a memorable hike lately? Would love to hear about it!