Baker has emerged through time, development, and recreation to be a key focal point in the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Baker, or also known as the Koma Kulsan, or the La Gran Montana de Carmelo is a wonderful and historic exploration in itself. While being in the Pacific Northwest, it has brought fascination to many people around the world ( Heller, Mt. Baker Ski Area). .
Lummi, Nooksack, and Skagit tribes were the first tribes to surround Mount Baker, they were also the first to actually name the Mountain. They called the Mountain "Koma Kulsan."" Koma has been interpreted as meaning "white and shining- and also "steep and precipitous."" Kulsan has been referred to as meaning, " broken off or disrupted at the top."" This gives reason to believe that this Mountain has erupted sometime in it's past (Heller, Mt. Baker Ski Area). .
The next name given was the La Gran Montana Carmelo. Named by Francisco Eliza, a Spanish explorer. Catholic Monks, who lived on Mount Carmelo on the Mediterranean coast of Palestine, inspired this name. These monks wore white robes and were known as white friars. Evidently, Eliza thought of them when he saw Mt. Baker (Heller, Mt. Baker Ski Area). .
The last and final name, which we know the mountain by today, is Mt. Baker. While under command of Captain George Vancouver, Lieutenant Joseph Baker first saw the Mountain while anchored at Dungeness. Dungeness is a port located close to Pt. Townsend, over on the east coast of Washington. Vancouver being unaware of the name already given to the mountain, he named it Mount Baker after his junior officer (Heller, Mt. Baker Ski Area).
By 1894, a man named Bert W. Huntoon had discovered a trail that would allow access to the public up the mountain. Then in the fall of 1911, a petition had begun to improve the rugged old trail, so Mt. Baker was accessible by wagon. The road soon was turned into a gravel road. Later in 1921, the highway up the mountain had begun, then by 1926 the highway was completed.