Mount Baker is part of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and is a major outdoor recreation area (ski, snowboard, moutaineer, hike, etc.) located east of Bellingham (Washington).
Flora and fauna
To get there, take I-5 to exit 255, take Sunset Drive east until it becomes state highway 542, and follow that highway 56 miles to the ski area. This drive takes about 90 minutes in good weather conditions. The road is plowed regularly, so it should be passable to regular cars except during storms. Note, however, that all vehicles are required to carry chains from November 1 to April 1.
Another popular route, for Canadians, is to take the Sumas border crossing, in Abbotsford, and continue following the road signs as you drive southeast for 45 minutes.
The Mount Baker Ski Area has seven lifts, covering 1500' (455m) elevation gain. The area claims typical snowfall of 647 inches (1,638 cm) per year. Adult lift tickets are approximately USD $40 per day, while an adult season pass is about $660 (as of December 2005; various discounts available).
There are two day lodges with parking and full amenities (White Salmon and Heather Meadows), and a third ski-in lodge ("Raven Hot Cafe") with food. Tip: bring US Dollar cash; while Mastercard and Visa are accepted for lift tickets and gear rentals, cash gets you a discount, and only cash is accepted at some food counters. Heather Meadows lodge is a better starting point for new visitors, since it has a wider range of gear rental and good access to the slopes.