Mount Baker, the northernmost of the Cascade volcanoes, towers dramatically over the surrounding hills. At 10,778 feet, it is bathed in glaciers and snowfields and serves as a scenic backdrop for Bellingham and Vancouver, British Columbia. Besides improving the scenery, the Mt. Baker area offers up a wealth of recreational activities, from skiing to hiking to white-water rafting.
Much of this land lies within the Mt. Baker Wilderness and National Recreation Area. Bordering them to the east is North Cascades National Park, another favorite of those who love the outdoors.
The four “life zones” on the mountain, from sea-level forest to alpine meadows, have a wide variety of wildlife, including coyotes, black bears, black-tailed deer, porcupines, elk, marmots, and mountain goats. Forest birds include grouse, gray jays, ptarmigan, and a large winter population of bald eagles on the Skagit (rhymes with gadget) and Nooksack Rivers.
All five species of Pacific salmon spawn in the rivers, and the insect population is well represented by three of its least popular members: the mosquito, black fly, and no-see-um.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition