Glacier Creek FS Road 39 hike
There's been a lot of complaining about the closure of Glacier Cr Rd, Mt Baker Ranger District, due to a washout. This road is really important for hikers and climbers as a route to the Coleman Glacier, one of the main routes to the summit of Mt Baker.
But after getting over the closure issue I decided that this was an opportunity to explore what's near the road. Sure I've driven up it several times, but each time it's been to get to the Heliotrope Ridge TH as fast as I can without driving off the road or having a head-on collision. The 8-mile long road is mainly single lane with plenty of blind corners.
I saw only one other human, a cyclist using the road for training.
No other large animals, no sign of bear scat. Just peace and quiet.
I'll start from SR542, the Mt Baker Highway, and go south up road 39 to Grouse Creek bridge on the Heliotrope Ridge Trail. Elevation gain 2500ft. over 8 miles.
[Edited first 4 photos to display as full screen.]
First sign of trouble:
Second sign of trouble, at the sno-park info board:
Third sign, real trouble, but there's no locked gate (yet). I think someone drove past:
Time to leave the car and start walking. This is at mile 1, at the Thompson Creek bridge. Speaking of this creek, view from bridge:
Lots of creeks along the way, many with no names that I can tell:
View of Cascade Cr from the place where the road damage is, just before the bridge to the other side of the creek:
The reason for the road closure, west side of road is undercut; first photo in AM, others PM:
Several of these markers around the washout area:
Damage does not look too bad, and as I said I think someone drove up here, fresh tire tracks. Risky though, never know when the roadway might fail even more.
Next creek, between the washout and the big bridge to the other side:
Bridge at mile 2.9 to west side of creek (view from south):
View of creek downstream from bridge:
View of creek upstream from bridge:
Views of creek along a level section of road, hints of mtns above:
First view of Lookout Cr:
Higher up crossing of Lookout Cr:
Lookout Cr. at Mile 5.4 bridge. Close up of Twin Falls on Lookout Cr.:
Another two small creeks:
All along the road there are dozens of different flagging tapes, one type is mileages:
Open area with views towards Baker, second one Lincoln? Third looking north to ... Church Mtn? Fourth Baker summit, fifth Bastile Ridge and Roosevelt Glacier, sixth pano:
Must be getting close to the TH, at road 36 jct:
Last creek, no name, before the TH, very cold wind coming down this:
Sign at picnic table:
View upstream from Grouse Cr bridge:
Entering the wilderness area past the bridge:
FS trail register last page, a party on June 1-2 camped higher up, might have driven up to the TH area:
No re-up. BYO TP:
Last edited by RGB; 02-16-2015 at 12:40 AM.