Bald Mountain (Skagit County)
This is the OTHER Bald Mountain... Ya, that one...
1,600' of elevation gain from gate to summit. 6.5 miles round trip.
Standing prominent, proud and towering above lowly clearcuts, this impressive mass of greenstone holds the name Bald Mountain. Interesting enough, sweeping from the valley below onto the exposed rocky side cliffs and up to the summit is home to a majestic, uncut forest. So Bald Mountain might be balding in a few spots, it still holds beautiful, untouched timber.
Bald Mountain is a mountain summit located in Skagit County of Washington State. It is located East of Highway 9 and North of Lake Cavanaugh Rd. Bald Mountain climbs to 2,486 feet above sea level and would be agreed that Bald is a peak of small stature but of large prominence. Bald Mountain is located at latitude - longitude coordinates of N 48.366217 and W -122.044867. When you first come around the corner on the summit hike, the prominence of this mountain is very impressive. This mountain deserves attention as a good workout hike, a nice summit approach challenge and amazing views from the summit. Click on this link to view a Northwest Geology Field Trip
Early Morning Fog Around Bald Mountain
SUMMIT VIEW LOOKING WEST AT SUNSET
Starting out from the gate on Lake Cavanaugh Rd, (make sure not to block the gate) you will head up a logging road maintained by Longview Timberlands. The road is in good shape, peaceful and offers the typical things you would see on a logging road. The area serves for a variety of native plants, animals and birds. Its nothing to really get super excited about, but it gets you to where you are going. The road will pass a gravel pit on the left and after 1.25 miles there will be a gravel pit on your right. Stay along the road and at about 1.5 miles you will take a right and head straight toward Bald Mountain. You will see Bald here and there along the way towering above you with all its 2,486’. You will then cross a bridge and eventually the road will come to a Y. This is at the South base of Bald Mountain. Take a left (west) here and the elevation gain will start to pick up. Continue on the road west which will start doing some goofy switchbacks that take you away, then bring you back and then take you away from Bald Mountain. The goal in following this road is to gain the North side or backside of the mountain. You will start to notice that the North side has lots of trees. At this point on the road always stay to the right because there will be a couple spur roads to the left. Do not take these. At roughly 3 miles you will see a faint boot path on the right side of the road. It is located in a small clearing along an alder lined logging road.
Follow this path that climbs up the North face of Bald Mountain. This standard summit route for Bald Mountain would be a solid class 2 climb. Although the route is basically non-technical, the use of hands is necessary throughout the majority of the summit approach. If it wasn’t for the many shrub and root belays, it would probably become more technical maybe around a low class 3. Also after a hard rain, the approach would become more difficult due to the steep incline on loose rock, mud and mossy boulders. Once you are to the summit it will put you out on a flat slab that overlooks the valley from southeast to southwest. You can see the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. Because of how flat the summit is, there are areas that are heavy forested and block a 360 degree view. However, you can climb around the summit and find many amazing view points to look in every direction. I would guess that there are at least a dozen or more solid viewpoints on top of mossy boulders. Be careful on the summit, 1,000’ cliffs are typical in all direction. Views toward Big Deer Peak, Whitehorse, Three Fingers, Stimson Hill, Table Mountain and many more can be seen on a clear day.
Rain, Sun and Mountains
Head North on Highway 9 toward Big Lake area. Take a right on Lake Cavanaugh Rd and head east. You will follow Lake Cavanaugh Rd for approximately 8.8 miles. The gate will be on your left hand side. It comes up pretty quick, so you might miss it the first time. If you go to the lake, you have gone too far.
MAP OF ROUTE
This area is owned by Longview Timberlands. It is open for recreational users with a list of restrictions. See attached sign posted at the Lake Cavanaugh Rd Gate.