I went up to Heliotrope Ridge today, hoping to get as close as I could from Baker. Trailhead starts at 3700 feet. I went up to 6100 feet. The trail I took disappeared around 5700 feet. The last part was kind of scary when coming down... very loose rocks on a very steep grade.
There are many possibilities when going up on the ridge. I took a side trail on the right side of the fourth stream as suggested in my "Don't waste your time in the North Cascades" book. I think I should have tried the left side instead for better views. Or having more time, you could do both.
Anyways, I had nice weather and a wonderful day.
I took me around 2 hours to go up. Total hiking time including breaks: 4 1/2 hours.
The trail starts in a wonderful quiet forest. It is an easy trail, not too steep and very well maintained. You have to cross 4 major streams (without bridge) to get on the ridge.
The first views when getting out of the forest are very nice...
The third stream is the hardest to cross. My poles definitely helped me there.
The fourth stream is the widest, but easily passable. I took a trail on the right side to go up. When coming back down, I crossed it and went on that big rock for a lookout view.
I also noticed a trail going up on the right side of the stream that might be better...
Looking back north:
From the trail I took, Baker was hidden, but I could see the climbers route. Look at the small cascade coming out of the snow (bottom left)
Cascades are everywhere up there:
Views from the big rock when I came down:
Wonderful day! [8D]
"The fact that no one understands you doesn't make you an artist."
Edited by - TheChance on 09/24/2003 9:39:16 PM