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.
Elevation gain: 4,000 feet
Round trip: 10½ miles (including extra 2 miles of road)
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Hiking time: 6 hours
Best times to hike: July through September
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.