The nearest civilisation from the resort is the small ‘town’ of Glacier, about 20 miles away. Turning up here might give you the impression you’ve stumbled onto the deliverance film set, but you’ll quickly come to understand it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a simple laid back place with a cool vibe, and the locals are as unpretentious as you can get. The town doesn’t seemed to have changed in decades - you can forget about trying to get an kind of mobile signal, and only the lift-9 restaurant/bar has a wi-fi signal.
There isn’t a great deal to see or do here; a couple of restaurants and bars, the general store, a bakery, a few ski hire places and the almost legendary Mt.Baker snowboard shop. The shop is almost a museum to the history of snowboarding in Baker. On one wall are stacks of signed photos and commented magazine shots from the pros, and out the back in the workshop you’ll find an array of snowboards from the ages including one of the original snow surfer boards.
There are a more facilities a further 10 miles away in the town of Maple Falls, including the nearest petrol station, but if it’s a big town you want, then stay in Bellingham on the West coast which should take about 90minutes to get to Baker.
For breakfast or just to grab something for the drive up, head to the Wake & Bakery. It’s just off the main drag close to Mt.Baker snowboard shop. They serve great coffee and homemade pastries, not forgetting their hemp cookies, perfect for those down days. If you need an early lunch then Lift-9 is the only restaurant open before 2pm. Milano’s on the main street serve great pasta and pizzas, and directly opposite Graham’s is both the general store and the main bar/restaurant in town. Lunchtime they run some great $5 specials and the fish taco’s are some of the best you’ll ever eat, and the rest of the food is pretty good too. About half a mile up the road towards Baker is lift-9, which opened in 2011, it’s a pretty cavernous place and has a good bar-style menu, serving awesome ribs, burgers and pizzas. They run some specials throughout the week and after 8pm serve a more restricted menu, with the last food orders at 9pm.
Up on the mountain, the first base you come to, the White Salmon Day lodge, serves some good value food, and at the weekends the restaurant at Heather Meadows is open. However the best place to eat is the Raven Hut which opened in 2011, located at the bottom of the C-4,5 and 6 lifts. The $10 burgers are excellent, as are the pulled-pork rolls, and you can save a few dollars going for the chilli bowls or the salad options if you’re missing your greens.
You won’t find any of your typical skiing après BS nonsense here. Things are laid back but a good crowd will ensure things can get as messy as you want. Grahams and lift-9 have happy hours that finish at 5pm, a pool table, and host various bands and open-mic’s throughout the week. Lift-9 is the more lively venue, and serve cocktails and numerous shots as well as a good selection of beers. Things tend to wind down around midnight but on a good night will only really close when the last person has had enough to drink.
You won’t find any accommodation up on the resort, and the nearest places to stay are down in glacier, and you’ll still need a car to get around as things are very spread out.
Mt Baker Bed and Breakfast is a good choice with rooms at $90 and one of the few places which have Wi-Fi access, and about half a mile from glacier. The Inn at Mt. Baker is quite a distance from town, but is bit more up market than most offerings. For self-catering snowater is a small gated community close to lift-9, which has 1 & 2 bed places to rent from $130 per night, and an indoor pool with other leisure facilities. For real luxury cabins visit stayatmtbaker.com who offer some top places from a top $250 per night at another one of the gated communities, snowline, which is not far from glacier.