Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
What’s behind perfect light? Here, on Ptarmigan Ridge, it looks as if time and nature conspired to bring together just the right amount of mist and the exact angle of sunlight to make the magic happen. “As the sun started to set, a light breeze began blowing fog off the glacier over the ridge,” explains photographer Stephen Matera. Make your own magic here in midsummer, when the ridge should be snow-free. Leave Artist Point trailhead (recreation pass required to park; $30), trekking 7 miles on the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail to reach the alpine zone below the east face of Mt. Baker. Turn it into an overnight and post up at Camp Kiser (first-come, first-serve)—and you’ll have no excuse for missing the golden hour.