Skyline Divide Tour

Starting Elevation: 4300 ft.

High Point: 6300 ft.

Level:  Intermediate-Advanced

Length: 4-6 hours for short tour, overnight for extended.

 

Skyline Divide extends from the north side of Mt. Baker and contains numerous bowls that offer steep bowl skiing into the early summer.  Though some of the runs are of a moderate pitch, many of the bowls contain some advanced skiing with runs over 1000 feet descent even late in the season.  The approach to the ski requires hiking up through dense old growth forest, best done in July when most of the trail is visible.  Marking the trail as you go in is highly suggested if you are climbing up in snow.  Getting lost on descent can put you at risk of ending up on a cliff band to the west of the divide.

Once you have climbed up to the ridge, the traverse south toward Mt. Baker will allow you to scope out the various bowls mostly facing East which offer excellent skiing.  The traverse continues on for several miles, and it is possible to connect up with Chowder ridge which is an easterly deviation of the main ridge closer to the mountain.  Excellent camping sights are available along the ridge top.

After skiing your selected runs, yo-yoing to your hearts content, you can head back along the ridge to the trailhead.

Driving directions:

From I-5 take Hwy 542 toward Mt. Baker Ski Area. About 1 mile east of Glacier, look for a forest road turn off just Past Mt. Baker Rim development. Turn right on Rd. 39, then take the immediate left on Rd. 37, following the signs to Skyline Divide. The road winds it way up the ridge and ends in a parking area at 4300ft.