High Divide


Mount Baker Highway
Glacier , WA
(360) 856-5700


The High Divide is a long ridge that parallels the Mount Baker Highway and North Fork of the Nooksack River from Excelsior Pass on the west to Welcome Pass on the east. A trail connects these points and allows hikers to travel through alpine meadows that seldom drop below 5,000 feet. The ups and downs of this ridge hike are not difficult and seldom interfere with the spectacular views that this open ridge has to offer. East of Excelsior Pass the old lookout site offers grand views that may include Mount Baker, Skyline Divide, saltwater and islands, and peaks as far away as the Canadian Coast Mountains.

Once the snows melt, no water is found on this arid ridge. The lack of water stunts most of the plants and results in the tiniest blueberries you can imagine. What they lack in size however, they more than make up for in flavor and in sweetness too. On a late summer day the scent of blueberries from these sun scorched slopes can be intoxicating.

While the 5-mile hike along the High Divide may not be difficult, getting to it is another matter. You have several trails to choose from but a great way to hike the High Divide one-way is to establish a car shuttle between two different trailheads. A popular choice is up the Welcome Pass Trail and down the Excelsior Mountain Trail. The easiest hike is from the Damfino Lakes trail to Excelsior Pass.

For a walk in the sky, a visit with nature, or wide open mountain views, enjoy this delightful ridge trail.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 9/19/2001


Head east on the Mount Baker Highway east to Glacier. Accessible trailheads are Damfino Lakes via Canyon Creek Rd, Excelsior Mountain trailhead (milepost 41) and Welcome Pass trailhead (milepost 45).
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