Crown of the Cascades

Story and photos by Zach Barlow


people chillin


For years Mount Baker has been known as one of the main attractions of Whatcom County. Mostly known for its skiing and snowboarding, Baker also hosts a multitude of festive events including the Valentine’s Day Dinner Special at the Ravens Hut Lodge and an Easter Egg Hunt. Mount Baker has the second most active thermal crater in the Cascade Range next to Mount St. Helens, is the youngest volcano in the Mount Baker volcanic field, and has a reputation as one of the snowiest ski areas on Earth.

Gonzalo Lopez de Haro, a Spanish explorer, made the first written documentation of Mount Baker after he discovered and mapped it in 1790. De Haro called the mountain “Gran Montana del Carmelo,” or “Great Mountain of Carmel,” because the mountain reminded Spanish explorers of monks from the Carmelite Monastery.

Today, there is more to Baker than its natural majesty. Driving up to the lodge, one of the first defining features is an art piece by Tony Angell called “Emissaries,” a sculpture of two birds perched on a rock wall. Angell has also done a sculpture called the “Parliament of Owls” on Whatcom Community College’s campus.

The seating outside the lodge gives people of all ages the opportunity to rest and warm up after a long day on the slopes while also enjoying the splendor of the beautiful mountain range. Inside, the lodge offers the opportunity to grab a bite to eat while socializing with the mountain’s only full-time employee Sammy the cat, whose efforts to rid the building of mice earns him a weekly wage of treats and belly rubs.   

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