Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing: White Salmon Road, Mount Baker

snowshoeing mt baker white salmon road

Why Choose White Salmon Rd?

Great spot for first-time snowshoers, families, or hikers with dogs. Find this spot by driving 51 miles up Mount Baker Highway there’s a pull-out area for about 6 or more cars (just past mile marker 51 on your left). The hike begins down a forest service road that is not plowed for the winter season. The great thing about it being a simple road is that there is no avalanche risk (as long as you stay on the path)!

Trip Reminisce

A quiet Sunday morning in March, my friends and I stopped at Wake ‘N Bakery in Glacier for some pastries. My friends and I also packed sandwiches and tons of water on our backs, unsure of how long we’d be out on the snow. Regardless, we were thrilled to be out in nature.

Turned out that the trail was only about 4.5 miles round trip (NOT 10 miles as stated on wta.org). The end of the trail was a dead-end with a great view of Mt. Shuksan. The views were fleating however, since it was currently snowing/raining and clouds blocked line of sight. The top of the trail was a quiet place to sit on our jackets to enjoy sandiwches before heading back. Not a very steep trail but some inclines were involved. Never having gone snow shoeing before I wasn’t sure about how well our experience would be, but the terrain was an easy one. White Salmon Road has an elevation gain of only 300 ft. Experience with snow shoes was not required here.

white salmon road hike mt baker
partial view from the top of white salmon road mt baker

Tips for your Trip

Watch through the breaks in the trees for some excellent views of mt. Shuksan. Be wary of dog poop as you walk, because there was way too many piles left behind on the trail! There’s also trail etiquette where cross country skiers ask that snow shoers try to avoid walking in the ski tracks they leave behind so they are fresh for the next skiier to utilize. Bring poles if you have knee issues or feel the need for extra support but otherwise they are unnessasary. Never ever park on Mout Baker Highway. Only leave your car on the pullout area that is plowed for parking. This hike also does NOT require a paid parking pass – score!

Packing List:

-must haves such as snowshoes,waterproof hiking boots, wool socks

-camera

-binoculars

-small waterproof tarp or something to sit on in the snow

-sandwiches

-sunscreen lotion (natural)

-sunglasses and waterproof jackets/clothing layers for when it gets hot/cold

-Camelbak water (I love these so I can drink without having to stop hiking the trail to get out my water bottles).

-tp for the ladies

-a bag to carry out your trash – leave no trace.

-doggy bags for your dog!

Conclusion

Great place to get in shape for further adventures, take yourself, family or friends who need an introduction to the snow! Con of this trail was that sometimes it was hard to see the gorgeous views due to snow and rain cloud coverage. There was also too much dog poop left behind by irresponsible hikers with pouches. The best part is that it is a great way to enjoy nature without spending a lot of money!

 

Comments

  1. Genericcialis

    With the snowplows, I”m surprised that “follow the leader plows aren”t being tested as an intermediary step, with a plow with a human in it (either driving or watching the other vehicles and communicating with ATC and the plows” controller back in an office somewhere) in the lead, and other robotic plows following platoon style. While robotic snowplows make some sense for airports, I”d want to make sure that they can recognize and stop in near white-out conditions when a Cessna (or a large animal, for that matter), turns onto the wrong taxiway and heads straight for them, let alone if an A380 did that. Having recently read through MKE”s snowplowing plan, the plans that airports have to file with the feds are very detailed and precise. On another note, I”m surprised that there aren”t robotic deicers in use yet.

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