Barometer Mountain by Artist Point via Bagley Lakes Trail / 氣壓山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Barometer Mountain by Artist Point was a great find among the obscure places in the area. The hike through Bagley Lakes Trail may seem underwhelming. But this vantage point gives stunning views to both Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

Barometer Mountain, the leading protagonist
Barometer Mountain, the leading protagonist

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Barometer Mountain at a Glance

Access: Bagley Lakes Trailhead
Round Trip: 8.2 miles
Elevation Range: 4160′-5763′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Bailey Lakes Trail

The trip allowed us to explore the end of Mount Baker Highway. There weren’t many cars on the road early in the morning on the way to the trailhead. We later drove past the famous Picture Lake, where people had taken iconic photos of Mount Shuksan.

It was a pleasant morning with a dozen cars in the lot. The pup and I first walked through Lower Bagley Lake’s east shore. Soon, we were at the upper lake, where I put on snowshoes by the outlet. Then we continued toward the top of the basin.

Upper Bagley Lake outlet
Upper Bagley Lake outlet

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Snowshoe Through Steep Terrain

Later, we made a rising traverse toward Herman Saddle. Then I spotted two skiers below us. We stayed out of the northwest-facing gully and somewhat went in the way of the summer trail.

From there, we continued west and, in the meantime, crossed Mount Herman’s southern slopes. The skiers opted to go directly up the avalanche terrain in the gully.

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View of Mount Shuksan

Soon, Mount Shuksan rose from behind Austin Pass over the eastern skyline. Then I kept turning back to check out the magnificent view. It could have been the closest we have seen the mountain.

Later terrain flattened at 5000′. Then the pup and I contoured southwest over the pristine snow slopes. Before long, we had reached Herman Saddle at 5300′.

On Herman Saddle
On Herman Saddle

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Herman Saddle Views

But the views didn’t stop there. More vistas to the west welcomed us the moment we reached the saddle. Mount Baker then became the main attraction on that side.

We could very well have made the saddle our turnaround point and enjoyed the views there. But, alas, Barometer Mountain had called, and it awaited our arrival.

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Galena Chain Lakes Basin

We dropped 500′ into Galena Chain Lakes Basin. Then we bypassed Iceberg and Hayes Lakes through the dividing ridge. We later went into Anderson Creek Basin from the Arbuthnot Lake’s west shore.

Soon, we made our way up to the southeast saddle at 4700′. Then we stayed on or east of the ridgeline. The terrain was steep from 5200′ to 5400′.

Onward to Barometer Mountain
Onward to Barometer Mountain

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Final Stretch on Barometer Mountain

Higher up on the ridge were lots of dry rocks. So we were able to leave the snow on either side to continue. The views around us improved with every bit of elevation gain.

It was very hard not to keep stopping and scoping out the vistas. Before long, we made it up on the snowy summit after a brief rock scramble below the top.

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Barometer Mountain Summit Views

Of course, I would say this to just about any summit with jaw-dropping views. Not to mention on a gorgeous day like today. But wow, what a gem this place was. So “good things come to those who wait,” I think?

The only peaks I recognized were the ones we’ve climbed, like Church Mountain Lookout and Excelsior Peak. Plus, from and center was the unmistakable sight of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee
American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee

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Outro

As I looked around, I realized just how much of the Cascades I have yet to explore. So I’ve since added more places to my list. Winchester Mountain, Mount Larrabee, and American Border were among the many.

By the time we made it back to Bagley Lakes Basin, it was pure slush. There we also noticed more ski and snowshoe tracks since this morning. So lots of people had been out to enjoy the day!

Shuksan to Baker panoramic view on Barometer Mountain
Shuksan to Baker panoramic view on Barometer Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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