Guided geology field trips in western Washington, and presentations about Mount Baker eruption history and hazards:


MBVRC field trippers at Rosario Head, Whidbey Island. Photo by Kitty King.

For information about our presentations, please scroll down…


Guided geology hike to Easton Glacier terminus on Mount Baker September 10. Details:

MBVRC offers guided geology field trips to see volcanic and glacial deposits around Mount Baker. These trips are intended for the general public as well as the professional geology community. We have taken people to the Schreibers Meadow cinder cone, Middle Fork lahar deposits, lava flows, ash deposits and other aspects of Mount Baker geology, and also lowlands geology. Subscribe to this blog (yes, it is free)  to stay informed via email so you will know when the next trip is offered. Trips are  fundraisers to support our grant program, and are open to the non-geologist public. People who sign up for field trips become members of MBVRC, and are eligible for discounts on future trips that year. For more information contact us via email. GIFT CERTIFICATES are available for MBVRC field trips. They make great holiday gifts. Scroll down for information about MBVRC field trips in general.


Subscribe via email or RSS for information on the next presentation on the eruptive history and hazards of Mount Baker volcano, and other Baker topics. If you wish to invite a speaker for a presentation, please contact MBVRC via email:

mountbakerresearch  gmail copy

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Link: field guide to Baker deposits in the Baker River valley and Heather Meadows area, written by D. Tucker and K. Scott (2011) for the Northwest Geological Society.


The talk presents the volcanic history of Mount Baker: eruptions, collapses, and the hazards this active volcano poses. The state of volcano monitoring at the volcano will be discussed. The likely volcanic future and the potential for impacts on Whatcom-Skagit communities will close out the presentation.

Only 40,000 years old, the Mount Baker cone is about the same age as Mount Saint Helens. Very little was known of its volcanic history until extensive geologic mapping by USGS geologists Wes Hildreth and Kevin Scott began in the mid 1990s. We now know that Mount Baker is but the youngest in a series of volcanoes in the immediate area extending back over 1,000,000 years. Other volcanoes in the Baker group include: two calderas that each erupted roughly 200 times as much ash as Mount Saint Helens did in 1980 all in single devastating eruptions; a subglacial cone; and a number of once-sizable stratovolcanoes, most now eroded to nubs. Collapse of the volcano’s southwestern slope sent a large mudflow, or lahar, down the Middle Fork Nooksack River into the lowlands of Whatcom County and possibly as far as the Fraser River. Field studies continue to describe the post-glacial eruptive history. Much of this work is being done by graduate students at Western Washington University. The newest, as yet unpublished research has revealed the patterns of ash deposits erupted from Mount Baker.

The presentations are given either by Dave Tucker (MS Geology), a research associate with the geology department at Western Washington University, or Doug McKeever, geology professor at Whatcom Community College. Both are board members of MBVRC, and have done geologic field work on the volcano.


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A sampling of past field trips

Click on links below to read about recent trips, and see a selection of photos.

June 2013- Geology along the Baker River trail. Metamorphic bedrock, alluvial fans, river erosion and deposition.

August 2012- Scott Paul Trail, Mount Baker. Ash deposits, Little Ice Age moraines, Baker and Black Buttes lava flows. All day trail hike.

August 2012- Pinus Plateau ‘orphan lava flow’, and North Fork Nooksack geology. Easy hike to the top of a lava cliff above the river, and a visit to the Church Mountain landslide and other geologic hazards in the Nooksack valley.

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Baker and the Black Buttes from the meadows below Park Butte.

August 2014- To Park Butte and geology just south of Mount Baker.

April 2014- Geology of Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands.

June 2013- geology along the Baker River trail north of Baker Lake.

August 2012- North Fork Nooksack River and the Pinus Lava Flow.

September and October 2011- Schreibers Meadow cinder cone, lava, and tephra. This trip hikes cross country up a cinder cone on the south flank of Mount Baker, and visits lava and scoria (cinder) deposits.

July 2011- Middle Fork Nooksack River lahars. A group of 20 MBVRC members had a good day examining lahar and other deposits in the Middle Fork Nooksack, and discussing future hazard to lowland Whatcom County.

March 2011- Underwater lava flows in Baker River valley. Only when the Baker Reservoir is drawn down does the unusual subaqueous portion of the Sulphur Creek lava flow become visible.

November 2010- The first MBVRC field trip, to the Schreibers Meadow cinder cone.

Dave Lewis, Kevin Scott, and Dave Tucker show hikers tephra in soil layers.

Kevin Scott and GSA 2007 GSA field trip participants at Boulder Creek lahar exposures.

There is rarely time for any of this on our field trips.



  1. […] field guide to Mount Baker deposits is available via link from the MBVRC site. The link takes you to a guide written by Dave Tucker and Kevin Scott for a Northwest Geological […]

  2. David: My wife and I attended your July trip for the California Paleontology Group. During the NE lookout portion (first day lecture) of the Mt Baker hike you mentioned an introductory tectonics / related phenomena book by a Canadian, U of Toronto (as I recall) Prof. Can’t find the reference and would appreciate getting it again from you. Really enjoyed the field trip with you-well done. Thanks again, George and Marilyn Gough, White Rock B.C.

    • George and Marilyn,
      The book is Ghost Mountains and Vansihed Oceans: North America from Birth to Middle Age. 2009. The authors are John Wilson and Ron Clowes, published by Key Porter Books, Toronto.


  4. […] You will receive a nicely printed gift certificate in the mail. Field trips fees beyond expenses go to the MBVRC research and education fund. To see brief descriptions of some  past geology field trips, scroll down here: […]

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