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You’ll explore countless North Cascades nooks, crannies, folds, and ridges on this 10-mile shuttle hike. Start by hiking past secluded Damfino Lakes to an open wildflower meadow on your way to Excelsior Pass, where you’ll see Mts. Baker and Shuksan looming over the Nooksack River Valley. (For even better 360-degree views, take the obvious spur trail to the east, which climbs 400 feet in .25 mile to the top of Excelsior.) At Excelsior Pass, a signed intersection points to the High Divide Trail, which follows the gentle ups and downs of a subalpine ridge for almost 5 miles to Welcome Pass. Then it’s a steep 2.5 miles down to the roadside trailhead. Note: Carry water later in the summer.
Info: Mount Baker NF: (360) 856-5700; www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs
-Hike provided by Mike McQuaide, author of Day Hike! North Cascades (Sasquatch Books)
Location: 48.9590377807617, -121.806800842285