Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest stretches more than 140 miles from Mount Rainier to the Canadian border and is packed with recreational opportunities. This summer, the U.S. Forest Service is adding some free activities amid the more than 1.7 million acres of national forest.
Here’s a closer look, from south to north:
Rangers are leading hikes from the summit of Crystal Mountain Thursdays-Mondays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The hikes last an hour and include looks at flora and (perhaps) fauna while the rangers discuss the area’s geology and history. The hikes start near the top of the Crystal Mountain Gondola. While the tour is complimentary, gondola rides are not. Gondola rides are $12-$22. For more information, call the Enumclaw ranger station at 360-825-6585 or the Silver Creek Visitor Center at 360-663-2284.
BIG 4 PICNIC AREA
Rangers are leading Saturday and Sunday interpretive walks at 11 a.m. through Sept. 7. They will explain the formation of the Big 4 Ice Caves while pointing out the details of the surrounding ecosystem along the way. The trail is federal Americans with Disabilities Act accessible. Reservations are not required. For more information, contact the Verlot Public Service Center at 360-691-7791. Smokey Bear is scheduled to make an appearance at the center at noon July 18.
HEATHER MEADOWS VISITOR CENTER
The visitor center, at Milepost 56 on state Route 542 at Mount Baker, will host a number of free programs over the summer, all of which are ADA accessible. For more information on the events, call 360-599-2714. Here’s a look at some of the programs:
An interpretive walking program called “Noisy Waters” is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturdays on the Horseshoe Bend Trail near the entrance to the Douglas Fir Campground. For more information, contact the Glacier Public Service Center at 360-599-2714.