PLEASE ONLY RSVP "YES". We don't need to know you are not going to be joining us..$22 for gas and the wear and tear on the driver's car.... NO DOGS.
All of my hikes are at a slower pace..
A hornets nest was mentioned in the latest trip report on the WTA.. A hiker was stung so if you are by chance allergic to bees/hornets be sure you come prepared.
Bring your 10 essentials and rain gear just in case... I'd like at least two people to have bear spray...(I have one)
NW Forest Pass required..
Please mention when you RSVP if you can drive and if you have a pass.
Location Park Butte (#603)North Cascades -- West SlopeMount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ranger DistrictStatistics
Roundtrip 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain 2200 ft
Highest Point 5450 ft
Features: Rivers, Lakes, Fall foliage, Wildflowers, Mountain views, Summits, Wildlife, Established campsites.
One of the most spectacular settings in the entire North Cascades, Park Butte provides unsurpassed views of the snowy volcano Baker as well as inviting and outstanding high country that begs to be explored. The historical fire lookout, one of the few remaining in these parts, teeters on the edge of a craggy knoll offering Imax-like showings of Washington's third-highest summit. Come here in summer and play in fields of snow. Come in autumn and roam through fields scorched in crimson. But try to come on a weekday, for the crowds are legion at Park Butte, one of the top hiking destinations in the Northwest.
In 500 feet, come to a junction with the Scott Paul Trail, an alternative return route for strong hikers. Butte-bound hikers proceed left, crossing Sulphur Creek on a sturdy bridge. Enjoy easy walking for the first mile or so through pool-pocked Schriebers Meadow. In early summer, masses of mosquitoes prevent any dawdling.
Continue across flats of heather and hemlock, coming to Rocky Creek and its large outwashes. Fed by the Easton Glacier, this temperamental stream frequently changes course. Consequently, trail maintainers must constantly reconfigure crossings as bridges are often rendered useless.
Once across the silty waterway the trail enters stately old timber and begins swiftly climbing, reaching the upper junction of the Scott Paul Trail at 2 miles (elev. 4500 ft). Now through a thinning forest of yellow cedar and mountain hemlock, the trail gently climbs, breaking out into hopping-with-heather and bursting-with-blueberries Moritz Meadow.
At 2.4 miles the Railroad Grade Trail, a worthy side trip along the lateral moraine of the Easton Glacier, takes off right, reaching High Camp (elev. 5500 ft) in 1 mile. Park Butte lies left and soon comes into view. So too does giant snow cone Mount Baker, dwarfing its surroundings.
Frolic across alpine lawns and beside snow melt ponds that reflect puffy white clouds and Baker's frozen face before making a steep little climb to yet another junction (elev. 4800 ft). Right heads down to Mazama Park, popular with equestrians and crowd-shunning hikers. Take the trail left for 1 mile of glorious ridge roaming through open park lands above shimmering tarns. Shortly after entering the Mount Baker Wilderness Area, reach Park Butte with its restored 1933 fire lookout.
By now, Baker has dominated most of your attention. Views west to the Twin Sisters, down the Nooksack Valley, and all the way out to Boundary Bay are equally impressive. Linger awhile reading lookout journals, soaking sunrays from the lookout's wraparound deck, or just looking out to some of the most spectacular alpine scenery on the planet.
From Burlington (exit 230 on I-5), head east on the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) for 23 miles, turning left (north) onto Baker Lake Road (between mileposts 82 and 83). Continue 12 miles and turn left on Forest Road 12 (the turnoff is 0.2 mile after you enter the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest). Drive 3.5 miles, turn right onto FR 13 (signed "Mt Baker National Recreation Area"), and follow it for 5.2 miles to its terminus at the large trailhead parking area (elev. 3300 ft). Primitive camping and privy available.
Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service. Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience. Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level. You may join us on this hike at your own risk. Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains. You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.
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