Outdoors

Church Mountain: Leads to old lookout

Though the access road to Church Mountain suffered damage from winter storms, this popular trail to an old lookout point is still intact. It climbs steeply through 3 miles of forest before opening up into a picturesque mountain meadow surrounded by shear cliffs. From the summit, Mount Baker looms directly in front of you and on a clear day, you can spot several Canadian peaks to the north.

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation gain: 4,000 feet

Round trip: 10½ miles (including extra 2 miles of road)

Hiking time: 6 hours

Best times to hike: July through September

Users: Hikers

Family friendly: No

Dogs: Dogs are allowed

Amenities: No camping. No restrooms.

Current conditions: Access road is washed out 1 mile from trailhead. Several downed trees crisscross the trail. Call Glacier Public Service Center at (360) 599-2714.

Permits: Northwest Forest Pass required; $5 for the day or $30 for an annual pass.

Maps: Green Trails No. 13: Mount Baker; USGS: Bearpaw Mountain

Getting there: Drive east on Highway 542. From the Glacier Public Service Center, go 5.2 miles and turn left onto Church Mountain Road (Forest Service Road 3040). Follow road for 2½ miles to the trailhead (1½ miles to washout). Drive time from Bellingham: 1 hour

Parking: Limited parking available at turnout near road damage.

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