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Railroad Grade

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area
48.7061, -121.8096 Map & Directions
Length
7.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2000 feet
Highest Point
6000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard

The road to Artist Point is closed for the winter season

  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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

Rating
4.18 out of 5

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Hiking Railroad Grade

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.

Hike Description Written by
Brandon Fralic, WTA Correspondent

Railroad Grade

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.7061, -121.8096 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

The road to Artist Point is closed for the winter season

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

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.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > Mount Baker Area

Railroad Grade (#603.2)

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

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails 45 Hamilton

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Railroad Grade

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