While it might look like just another dot on the map, small-town Glacier has an important distinction: it’s the closest community to Mt. Baker Ski Area. Surrounded by the dense evergreen wildlands of the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this town’s access to the outdoors is unrivaled – and you can experience it all with a stay in one of our Glacier vacation rentals.
Situated along the Mt. Baker Highway in the North Central Cascades, Glacier is 114 miles north of Seattle and about 22 miles south of the Canadian border. A stop along the way to Mt. Baker, the town has less than 300 year-round residents, many of whom are retirees or work seasonally at Mt. Baker Ski Area, which is 19 miles east.
Above anything else, Glacier is a hub for outdoor recreation. Luckily, our vacation rentals make it easy to access the area’s activities and still be home in time for dinner.
If you’ve come during the spring or summer, plan for some quality time in the winding waters of the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Located on the north side of town, this glacial-fed river twists and turns, expanding into wide silty sections and contracting into channeled whitewater. Bring along your fishing poles and tackle to wrangle the river’s oversized salmon, steelhead, and trout, or treat your family to a thrill-filled whitewater rafting trip with Wild and Scenic River Tours.
Avid hikers will find numerous options, including the picturesque Horseshoe Bend Trail, which traces the Nooksack’s perimeter, climbs through a narrow gorge section, then dives into dark woodlands. In the winter, the same trail (and many more like it in the area) transforms into singletrack for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, sample the eclectic fare at restaurants along the town’s main strip. Order up Jamón Ibérico and other authentic Portuguese platters at Milano’s Restaurant, “get sconed” at Wake n’ Bakery, or savor American classics like burgers and wings at Graham’s Restaurant.
No Glacier getaway would be complete without a trip to Mt. Baker. The northernmost of the Cascade volcanoes, this majestic mountain rises 10,781 feet above the forest floor and towers above adjacent peaks. Long popular with mountain climbers looking to test their mettle on the mountain’s vast glacial fields and craggy peaks, Mt. Baker is one of the world’s snowiest areas, making it a winter sports destination unlike any other.
Rent some gear in town at the Mt. Baker Snowboard Shop, then make the winding drive east to Mt. Baker Ski Area, which sits 3,500 feet up on the mountain. Shred down 31 slopes on 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, which also encompasses miles of powder-laden backcountry that’s best explored on a guided snowshoe hike or snowmobile excursion.
When the snow melts, the slopes turn into epic trails revealing panoramic lookouts and jaw-dropping views of the North Cascades. Lace up some sturdy boots and hit the leisurely Chain Lakes loop for a walk among the wildflowers, or challenge yourself with 10-mile roundtrip excursion to Hannegan Peak. In the evening, return to the comfort of your vacation rental, satisfied from a day well spent.
Surrounded by beauty and miles from crowds, Glacier offers the chance to unplug and unwind in one of the country’s most scenic areas. Play in the great outdoors, catch up on rest, or simply soak up the small-town charm - it's all here at our Glacier vacation rentals.
Photo Credit: valdosilasol via Flickr