North Fork Nooksack River, Camping – July 2017

Most of those who enjoy travelling in the backcountry often does so with other hobbies they enjoy while on the remote journeys. Hobbies like photography, mountain biking, target shooting, kayaking, camp cooking and so on. This time, the goal was simply to enjoy a peaceful day or two out in nature at a campsite, have some BBQ and watch the river roll by. A good overlanding trip doesn’t need to include long miles of dirt track.

This multi-day camp was an awesome time hanging out with new friends in a wild, serene setting, the extremely photogenic North Cascades National Park. Surprisingly, the area is not that far from the Seattle area. From I-5 North, we headed east on highway 9 at Belfast, WA, then up 542 took only a two and a half hours. From 542, we then drove up NF-3065 to the Twin Lakes, still covered in deep snow, melting quickly in the summer heat.

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (205 of 14)

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (206 of 14)

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (207 of 14)

We explored the area a bit before heading back down to NF-3070 find a place to camp. The first few likely sites either had the roads washed out or were occupied already. Luckily, our perseverance won out and we found an ideal camp, right on the North Fork Nooksack river. The white noise of a river was undeniably mesmerizing and relaxing.

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (208 of 14)

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (211 of 14)
Home for the night, ARB awning room

Our friends left the next day but my buddy and I stayed on for another night, just sitting by the fire, eating all the BBQ Mac-Burger-n-cheese as we could.

Later, the astrophotography was stunning as the Milky Way galaxy shone overhead.

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (205 of 1)

Milky Way

We both had important obligations later the next day so we planned our wake up time very early to tackle of few of the local scenic drives. After breaking down camp, we drove further up 542, with 15 foot walls of snow on both sides, until the very end at Artist Point. Jaw dropping views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (213 of 14)

Mt. Shuksan

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (216 of 14)

Mt. Shuksan

After Artists Point, we explored a dirt trail or two and found an amazing camping spot with world-class views.

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (221 of 19)

At a secret camping spot

Nooksack River Camping July 2017 (222 of 19)
View from secret camping spot

This was my first exploration of the Mt. Baker area and I blown away by the majestic beauty of the craggy, glacier covered mountains and lush, green rain forests that surround them. Stay tuned, we will return for more adventures around Mt. Baker, that is for sure.

6 thoughts on “North Fork Nooksack River, Camping – July 2017

  1. Hi,

    I’m looking to go on my first overnight, overland adventure. I have really wanted to drive Obstuction Point in the NE Olympics but am not sure if there are places to camp along the way.

    Do you have any recommendations in the North/Northeast Olympics?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To the best of my knowledge and recollection, I do not believe there are any places to camp along Obstruction Point road itself. No worries though, there are a large number of distributed camping areas as well as actual camping spots if you head were to head back down the mountain towards Port Angeles. Another option would be Deer Park Campground, which is a stunning overlook on the Puget Sound. Let us know how things turn out!


  2. Your skills with a camera are unbelievable. Seriously your photos are incredible. I need to convince Niecie to move out to the Pacific North West with me. They need teachers and reporters out there right? Posts like these inspire me to put the computer away and get back outside. Can’t wait for your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just camped on NF-3070 this weekend at the top of Cougar Loop based on your article here and it was awesome! Thanks for your article write-up for the inspiration. I also did a little exploring and found the secret campsite and it’s absolutely beautiful.


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