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Railroad Grade

North Cascades


North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area
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7.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Point: 6000 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This popular route for summitting Mount Baker is also a brilliant summer wildflower hiking destination.

The first 2.4 miles to Railroad Grade follow the Park Butte Trail, which crosses Sulphur Creek into colorful Schreibers Meadow. Lined with heather and wildflowers, the first mile is easy and passes in and out of forest, offering occasional glimpses of Koma Kulshan: the "Great White Watcher".

At 2 miles, the forest opens up to yet another wildflower-strewn meadow, Morovitz. At 2.4 miles, reach the Park Butte and Railroad Grade junction. Turn right and head up the stone steps, passing a few backcountry campsites and a side trail to a small tarn.

At 3 miles, reach Railroad Grade at the end of a glacial moraine. Peer over the steep edge at the glacier-fed creek below. Depending on the snow level, you may be able to hike 0.5 miles or more up the grade. At 3.5 miles is High Camp, a good turnaround point. The trail deteriorates from here and becomes a steep climber's path.


Railroad Grade

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7061, -121.8096 Open map in new window


North Cascades -- Mount Baker Area

Railroad Grade (#603.2)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails 45 Hamilton

Getting There

From Burlington (exit 230 on I-5), head east on the North Cascades Highway (SR-20) for 23 miles. After milepost 82, turn left onto Baker Lake Road. Continue 12.3 miles to FR 12, which is marked by a sign at the bridge before the road junction. Turn left on FR 12, continuing 3.7 miles to FR 13. Turn right on FR 13 and proceed 5.3 miles to the trailhead parking area.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Railroad Grade

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