Mt. Baker Ski Area
Mount Baker is the most defining feature of Whatcom County. This mountain towers over the area at nearly 11,000 feet in elevation and is the second-most active volcano in the Cascade Range, after St. Helens. When the wind blows just right and the skies are clear, a plume of steam occasionally rises from Sherman Crater, Baker's active caldera.
Forty miles east of Bellingham, the Mt. Baker Ski Area registers more annual snowfall than any other ski area in North America. It is commonly referred to as the "birthplace of snowboarding" and, appropriately, is host to the world's premier snowboarding competition, the Annual Legendary Banked Slalom. Located in the Mount Baker/Snoqualmie National Park, overnight lodging facilities are not possible, however, the White Salmon Day Lodge serves skiers as a serene rest area. Skiers and boarders can order a beer at the lodge, have lunch, then hit the slopes again, rejuvenated. The lodge is only a couple years old; of other lodges that pre-existed it, the first one may have been the most famous -- it was the location for the movie classic "White Christmas," but burned down soon after filming.
During ski season -- usually starting sometime in November until the end of March -- eight lifts transport skiers to runs every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those who have skied at other places in North America, the passes are among the cheapest in the country. Also, the powder is second-to-none.
Go up to Sunset Drive and head east for an hour and fifteen minutes. Stop when you can't drive anymore. It's kind of hard to miss.
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San Juan Islands