Yellow Aster Butte

Yellow Aster Butte

Nooksack Falls, WA

Nooksack Falls, WA

View of Mt. Baker from Bellingham Bay

View of Mt. Baker from Bellingham Bay

Orcas

Members of the Orca family J Podsurface together in Puget Sound

Deception Pass, WA

Deception Pass, WA

Sacred Sites

Sacred Sites

 
Peaceful Mountain Retreat is located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. Evergreen forests overlook rushing rivers pouring into glacier fed lakes, Giant waterfalls splash amidst giant douglas fir and cedar groves. Almost all of it is unpopulated by human settlements, with many enchanted places to experience that are within half an hour of the center.

Mount Baker, our beloved 10,000 ft majesty, oversees the entire region we nest in. Her glacier topped visitor center is just 30 miles from the center, offering amazing views of gorgeous peaks in every direction, with hiking trails that range from a casual stroll, to a steep workout. Mt. Baker Ski Resort is also at the top and is known for its miles and miles of trails for every skill level. Many Olympic and X Games stars got their tricks here on her slopes. Cross country skiers love the serene isolation of local trails, the silence broken only by rippling waterfalls.

Nooksack Falls is just 20 minutes up the road, where two 200 ft. waterfalls cascade into each other in a deep canyon, carved by eons of rushing river. Used by natives for rites of passage for centuries, Nooksack Falls is a local secret, little known as a tourist spot, and it is not uncommon to have the roaring mists to yourself.

Just a short mile or two from Nooksack Falls is a secret section of old growth forest preserved from logging by the National Forest Service. The 8 foot wide Douglas Fir and Cedar reach endlessly upward, towering over the enchanted fern garden below. A wonderland to experience, and a place rich with magic for ritual or ceremony.

Church Mountain, Yellow Aster Butte and more. Stop by the Forest Service station to get maps and recommendations for the hundreds of hiking trails in the area. Take a short 1.5 hour hike to a fire watch tower to view 41 snowcapped peaks, or spend the day huffing up a 2000 ft climb to dip in icy pools of melting snow in the heat of summer. Enjoy pure, crisp air and scenic views in every direction, as mists swirl and showers surprise you.

The Nooksack River rages toward Bellingham Bay via three forks, providing a playground to kayakers, river rafters, canoers, hikers, bikers, and more. Wildlife include our signature salmon and eagles, both common for viewing; deer and elk, raccoons, owls, hawks and many more citizens in our wild community. Bikes and kayaks, cross country skis and river guides are all available out of nearby Glacier, just a stones throw up the mountain.

Bird Watching is also a favorite in our region, from giant eagles, swans and heron to tiny yellow finches and red winged blackbirds. Red capped woodpeckers and dozens of others color our forests.

A Little Farther

Deception Pass is a captivating channel where river meets ocean in a narrow canyon that swirls and boils as it opens into the wide sea. Breathtaking views and long abandoned beaches make for deep contemplation. One and half hours drive.

Whale Watching is a favorite in the area because we have 3 pods of Orca whales who know us as well as we know them. A thriving eco-spirit in the region makes for wonderful tour guides who tell stories of the building of our ecosystem over millenia and the social lives of the creatures who live here – salmon, seals, whales, sharks, eagles, dolphins, turtles and so many more that you will likely see. Half hour to Bellingham, where the boats head out on day trips.

Larabee Park Beach is most heavily trafficked in the summertime, but the rest of the year it is just 10 minutes from downtown Bellingham, yet quietly serene and isolated.

Sea kayaking along Bellingham’s shoreline can be a divine experience, a close encounter with the wild, just inches from the surface of the sea. The only residents are high on the cliffs, so you are intimately surrounded by only the wild, even as you paddle out of the city.

For more info visit the Bellingham/Whatcom County Visitors Bureau at www.bellingham.org