Baker River (Trip) - Grades 5-9

Baker River Ramble 2.jpg
Baker River Ramble 2.jpg

Baker River (Trip) - Grades 5-9


Monday-Wednesday, June 26-28, 2017 (Sold out. Standby list full.)

Pre-Trip Meeting (mandatory): Sunday, June 25, 2017

This introductory backpack is a great way for participants to learn and practice wilderness travel skills. We will hike alongside the Baker River and camp out on a large gravel bar for two nights while exploring our surroundings during the day. Swimming, hiking, playing games, cooking food, and deepening our connection to the natural world are all on the docket for this trip. If your son is new to backpacking we highly recommend this trip!

Total trip miles: 4 miles with full packs, collaboratively decided additional distance in day hike explorations.


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2017 Itinerary

Pre-Trip Meeting (mandatory): Sunday, June 25, 2017. Time: 12:00-3:00PM. Location: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave, Bellingham. Directions. Participants should bring backpack and everything on the gear list they plan to bring on the trip. While this meeting is for participants only, we're happy to fill parents in on everything we discuss! 


Meet at Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham at 9:00AM. We’ll do a final gear check, then load our packs and selves onto the Wild Whatcom bus for a drive down the highway to Sedro-Woolley. We’ll stop by the ranger station to get our permits, then head north on Baker Lake road toward Komo Kulshan (Mount Baker’s original name, which means “Great White Watcher”). Please get a good night's sleep before departure day.

After lunch, we’ll strap on our packs and head through cedar groves and mossy rock gardens alongside the river. After pausing to cross a suspension bridge over the fast-flowing water, we’ll trek up the river valley through a boulder field, with mountain peaks and snowfields looming overhead, the blue-green Baker River by our side.

After a bit of hiking we’ll enter an ancient forest with huge mossy cedars along the trail. We’ll cross creeks, perhaps a mudslide and logjam, and seek out our base camp. We’ll either explore and set up camp on the sandy banks of a shallow river inlet, or keep hiking to the camps at Sulphide Creek. Once we’ve set up tents and created our camp kitchen, we’ll sharpen our techniques of hanging food and go exploring. Expect many stars to stare at as you fall asleep.


After breakfast, morning chores (hanging food, filtering water, making lunch, etc.), we’ll pack up our daypacks and explore along the river to the beaver pond upstream and views of Mount Shuksan. We'll also study animal tracks, sharpen our earth skills, and discover the ways of the wildlife in this area. This is the place to be true explorers, where humans are only visitors, and nature is at its most wild. We’ll return to camp for dinner around the fire before climbing in our tents for the night.


We’ll spend this final day learning how to leave a place with no traces but our footprints as we pack up camp and say goodbye to the mountain wilderness. We’ll take our time heading down the trail, stopping to explore along the way. We'll arrive back at the bus after lunch and be back in Bellingham between 4:00-5:00PM (we’ll call from the road with an exact time). Parents: plan on a trip report from us before we unload gear and you whisk your child home to a shower.

Pick-up: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham between 4:00-5:00PM.

Learning Outcomes: Lessons and concepts developed on this adventure include: in-depth exploration of all Wild Whatcom mottos, deep nature connection, the quiet mind, personal and community empowerment, Leave No Trace (TM) ethics, earth skills, collaborative and singular leadership, positive and negative peer pressure, common sense camping, analyzing hazards and mitigating risk, integrity, Native American history and ethnography, self-care, ecology and botany of local ecosystems, multiple intelligence theory, wilderness awareness, survival priorities, navigation, preparedness, wildlife and their adaptation to humans, working with and through fears, accepting and working with emotions, developing backpacking skills, practicing gratitude, approaching transitions to adolescence, understanding personal potential, and more!

Participant trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

Trip Training Tips

3 Day Trip Pack List