Heliotrope Ridge Trail

Sumas, Washington 98295

Heliotrope Ridge Trail

Heliotrope Ridge Trail Professional Review and Guide

"If you do only one hike in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, if you do only one hike all summer, let it be this one. Go equipped with camera and field glasses, and devote the whole day to the mountain. A well-graded forest trail makes the 3-km (2-mile) climb to the timber line a pleasure, after which comes some really splendid hiking across alpine meadows and marmot-inhabited screes, over bounding creeks to a moraine at the very lip of the Coleman glacier. You lunch beneath ancient, twisted trees overlooking the vast river of ice.

Deeply crevassed and fissured, blue-green in its depths, dazzling on its wickedly jagged towers, the glacier at such close range is an awe-inspiring sight. You might be lucky enough to watch a party of climbers go out onto the ice, equipped with ropes and spikes. On no account go onto the ice yourself, not even at its black and gravelly edge. The snowfields above the moraine also are out of bounds for hikers lacking experience and equipment. August is early enough for this trail. Even then, you may need boldness and ingenuity to cross the rushing creeks. But this whole hike is an adventure."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Allow 5 hours
Best August to September

Activity Feed

Jul 2018