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

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Barometer Mountain by Artist Point sits close to Mount Baker Highway. The hike through the lower Bagley Lakes Trail may feel underwhelming. But the peak boasts stunning views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

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

See more trip photos here.

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

Bagley Lakes Trail Below Artist Point

The trip let us explore the end of Mount Baker Highway. We went past the famous Picture Lake by the road, where people took iconic photos of Mount Shuksan. It was a quiet drive in the early morning to the mountains.

When we arrived, a dozen cars were in the lot on this pleasant morning. Soon, the pup and I walked through lower Bagley Lake’s east shore to the upper lake. I put on snowshoes by the outlet, and we continued up the basin.

Upper Bagley Lake outlet
Upper Bagley Lake outlet

See more trip photos here.

Bagley Lakes Basin to Herman Saddle

Shortly, we made a rising traverse toward Herman Saddle and saw two skiers below us. The skiers went straight up the avalanche chute. But cautious about the steep terrain, we avoided the northwest-facing gully entirely.

We headed west while following the summer trail and made new tracks in the fresh snow. Meanwhile, we traversed Mount Herman’s south side, and I sometimes glanced back for signs of Mount Shuksan.

Herman Saddle Above Bagley Lakes Basin
Herman Saddle Above Bagley Lakes Basin

See more trip photos here.

Viewing Mount Shuksan from Herman Saddle

Soon, the mountain rose from behind Austin Pass over the eastern skyline. I couldn’t help but constantly turn back to check out the magnificent mountain. It was likely the closest I’d seen the peak without climbing it.

The terrain eased at 5000′ below the pass as we contoured southwest through the pristine hills. Soon, we were on Herman Saddle at 5300′. We took a long break there to enjoy the magnificent views on both sides of the pass.

On Herman Saddle with Mount Shuksan
On Herman Saddle with Mount Shuksan

See more trip photos here.

Galena Chain Lakes Basin

We dropped 500′ into Galena Chain Lakes Basin as I gawked at the sight of Mount Baker to the west. Soon, we went past Iceberg and Hayes Lakes over the dividing ridge. Then we went from Arbuthnot Lake’s west shore into Anderson Creek Basin.

We made many photo breaks en route to the southeast saddle at 4700′. Then we traversed the ridgeline while staying on and east of the crest. The terrain was steepest from 5200′ to 5400′ but smooth sailing.

Moving on to Barometer Mountain
Moving on to Barometer Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Final Stretch on Barometer Mountain

Higher up on the ridge were lots of dry rocks. So we could move up through either side of the snow to continue. Views slowly improved with every bit of altitude gain.

It was tough not to stop for photos every minute and scope out the vistas. Below the top was a brief stretch of rocks to move through. Then we made it up on the snowy summit soon after.

The final stretch on Barometer Mountain
The final stretch on Barometer Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Barometer Mountain Summit Views

I usually say this to just about any summit with jaw-dropping views on a gorgeous day like today. But wow, I don’t know why it took this long to discover this gem of a place. So “good things do come to those who wait,” I suppose?

I only recognized places we’ve visited, like Church Mountain Lookout and Excelsior Peak. But I couldn’t find Welcome Butte out of the lineup. But the views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan outweighed everything else.

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

See more trip photos here.

Outro

I only realized how much of the Cascades I had yet to explore as I looked around. I’ve since added more places to my bottomless bucket list. Winchester Mountain, Mount Larrabee, and American Border Peak were among the many.

It was pure slush when we returned to Bagley Lakes Basin. Since we left this morning, we have seen more ski and snowshoe tracks in the snow. So it looked like lots of people had been out enjoying the day!

Enjoy the rest of your day, Mr. snowman
Enjoy the rest of your day, Mr. snowman

See more trip photos here.

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