Hike to Coleman Glacier, 2 hours from Vancouver
North Cascades' Coleman Glacier sits majestically atop the Heliotrope Ridge Trail.
130 kilometers southeast of Vancouver, up a winding, single-lane road, you'll find a small parking lot, an old trail map, and the start of the Heliotrope Ridge Trail.
Three-quarters of the trail explores a dense, old growth forest within Mr Baker Wilderness. This slow climb is the perfect place to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Pacific's temperate rain forest.
Occasional streams and delicate water falls that grow wider, faster, and deeper as you climb, provide a short respite from elevation gain for glacial water, river rock balance tests and a sense of adventure that keeps you on your toes.
It's the tantalizing view of Coleman Glacier upon the last quarter of the hike that provides motivation for the steepest part of the climb.
Rise above the fog.
Stumble onto flower-filled avalanche chutes.
Climb over a rocky moraine.
And let Coleman Glacier reward you with splendid views.
Watch the ice climbers while you catch your breath before starting the climb down.
It all goes by too fast.
Length: 2.3 miles each way
Elevation gain: 1,400 feet
Duration: 4-5 hours