Sumas Mountain rises up from the flat lowlands of Whatcom County like a sentinel guarding the northern most entrance to the Cascades. So massive is it, that few travelers on the Mount Baker Highway realize the long detour forced on them by its size. Driving across the Nooksack bridge at Nugent’s Corner, everything to the left will be the Mountain until turning sharply east at Kendall.
Gentler than the rock and glaciated peaks beyond, Sumas Mountain’s forested and rounded summit stands at only 3430 ft. Pleasant forest, unique views, mysterious mining history, easy access even in winter, all contribute to its popularity. The extensive network of trails, maintained by horseback riders provide connections to destinations with colorful names including: Friendly Cabin, Gold Mines, Holy Smoke Tavern, Who Knows Trail, Canadian Border, and Lost Lake.
The most common hiking route is described in detail in local guides. It begins on the west-side at Sealund Road (be respectful of private property). The trail joins an old roadway toward the "gold mines" but soon turns left and climbs steeply. Stopping to enjoy the peek-a-boo views is a good excuse to catch your breath. A park-like area with a rustic cabin and corral unexpectedly opens up in the forest. Enjoy this spot but be careful of the different trail intersections. A mistake, especially when returning, can add miles to your trip back to the car. Further up on the ridge, enjoy the unique views across the Whatcom Flatlands to the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Here the trees thin and the steep cliffs drop to the left opening more views into the Fraser Valley. The ridge eventually blends into a dense forest. Only those prepared with compass and experience should continue on the faint boot trails that lead to Lost Lake and other connections.
The best time to visit Sumas Mountain is anytime the sun is shining. Whether hiking up out of a lowland summertime fog, or breaking trail with new snowshoes you’ll have a good time on Sumas Mountain.
From Everson, travel east to South Pass Road; about 3 miles past Everson turn south on Sealund Road. Trail starts about a quarter mile farther on the left along a fence. Remember to respect private property.
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San Juan Islands