What we're about

Hello and welcome to the Bellingham Trails and Adventure Group! We are about getting outside, getting fit, and having fun adventures with others. We are open to anyone with an adventurous spirit. We have several event organizers. Whether you are interested in a neighborhood walk after work, an expedition into the high mountains, or an ocean kayak trip I hope you will be able to find something of interest with our Bellingham Trails and Adventure Group. Some of our events are men's or women's events. My vision is to have a variety of different events hosted by a diverse leadership team. I hope to see you on one of our adventures soon!

Dues for this group are $12 annually which covers the fees Meetup charges me as well as additional expenses. I hope this is affordable and I believe this group is a great value for your money. If you would like to be a member of Bellingham Trails and Adventure Group and the $12 is not affordable for you, send me a message through meetup and I can waive your fees.

While I understand life happens, when signing-up for an event, please make every effort to attend. No-shows will be documented and two no-shows may result in removal from the group. Late cancellations are also disruptive so please make every effort to attend the events you sign-up for!

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” --Helen Keller

Organizers in this group are not guides, instructors, or medical professionals. You alone are 100% responsible for your own safety and comfort and for the safety of those you bring as guests. We may give you our opinions on whether or not an activity is suitable for you, but the ultimate responsibility lies with you, as we are not experts. Certain activities may require other gear. If you don't know, ask! Someone can likely share advice or ideas.

Listed below are the Rules of the Trail. Please read before signing up for any event.
Your Lead Organizer,
Russell S.

Bellingham Trails and Adventure Group
Rules for the Trail

In order to maintain both physical and mental safety and comfort of a wide range of participants on BTAG events, be respectful of differences, and be good stewards of the great outdoors that we love, the following are the rules that each BTAG member agrees to when they sign up for our group.
·        Practice Leave No Trace. In addition to the obvious things like inorganic litter, this includes no leaving of organic materials like banana peels or listening to the radio with or without earphones. See link for more information. 
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/leave-no-trace.html
·        No weapons on any events that take place, partially or wholly, within the city limits of Bellingham including the trails around Lake Padden.

·        If dogs are allowed on an event, all leash laws must be obeyed at all times, no exceptions. 

·        Passengers in carpools should each contribute to payment for the driver to cover their driving expenses.

·        On longer adventures, the 10-essentials should be carried at all times. See link for details on the 10-essentials. Water, food and appropriate clothing and footwear are essential on trips of any length.
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html

· Use of substances will be at the discretion of the trip leader, but if allowed, any use of substances should be respectful of the wishes of others on the trip and not to the point of intoxication.

·        Covid safety is an important consideration on BTAG events. There is ample scientific evidence that it is highly unlikely to contract COVID in an outdoor environment such as a hike or bike ride. However any indoor activities, and certain activities related to BTAG events, such as carpooling and post event socializing at a restaurant, do represent significant COVID exposure risk to unvaccinated individuals. As such, the following COVID related rules apply on all BTAG events:

  1. We highly encourage COVID vaccination but do not require it of our participants in outdoor events;
  2. Should an event be entirely indoors, proof of vaccination may be required.
  3. We expect participants to adhere to any State of Washington and/or Federal mask requirements.
  4. Regardless of vaccination status, those who are uncomfortable with carpools or inside gatherings are responsible for making their own choices about participation in those activities, and/or the use of a mask (if mask use is not mandated at the time).

    Thank you for adhering to these rules so that we can all have a wonderful time on trails and adventures together!

Upcoming events (4)

After-work hike of Chuckanut Ridge trails

Needs a location

Let's explore the scenic Chuckanut Ridge trails in an evening hike! Exact route TBD depending on how we feel. We could do a loop on the various ridge trails and/or also visit Lost Lake. Moderate round-trip of about 4 miles (or more if the group wants it).

Well-behaved dogs on leash allowed.

I'll add more info as we get closer to the date and I do recon on the hike!

Saturday, Aug 20, Hike of Nooksack Cirque

Needs a location

Strenuous fun river hike ahead! Please read this description carefully before signing-up. This is not your usual hike!

This is a 12 to 14 mile out-and-back hike of Nooksack Cirque. It's what the guide books call a "Classic Deep Hole". We will be walking up a valley with mountains on both sides. Elevation gain is about 1,500 feet with a max altitude of about 3,000 feet. The first 4 miles are along an easy forested trail. The last 2 to 3 miles we will hike up a river and gently sloping rocky creek bed, reaching the base of mighty Mt. Shuksan, before turning around.

We love dogs, but as this hike takes us into Cascades National Park, there are no dogs permitted. There are no restrooms at the trailhead, but there is plenty of forest for privacy. No parking pass required. This is an all day event, please do not have plans for later in the day.

Water Alert: What is unusual about this hike? We will be river walking and getting our feet wet! You will need TWO sets of footwear -- one for dry land and one for walking in the river (your WET pair). If you have tough feet and are accustomed to walking around without shoes, you could also walk the river barefoot. To keep your feet from getting too cold, I would recommend that you wear wool socks with your wet set of footwear. This will keep your feet warm despite them getting wet. Bring a small TOWEL for drying your feet off before changing into your dry footwear. Hiking poles are highly recommended.

Stamina/Adventure Alert: While not particularly steep, this hike is on the long side with some real elevation gain. Walking through the river along uneven rocks takes some care and extra effort as well. You should be in EXCELLENT hiking shape and love this kind of adventure. I plan on my usual moderate pace. You should have completed hikes of similar distance and elevation gain in your recent past. Of course, remember your 10-essentials.

The details: Just a few feet from the trailhead, we will need to cross Ruth Creek. There is no bridge. The next 4 miles are through a forest. After 4 miles, we will break out of the forest and start walking along the riverbed of the North Fork of the Nooksack river. Along this rocky riverbed we will be crossing the braided North Fork of the Nooksack River many times as we make our way to the glaciers that are the source of this river (we will not be walking on the glaciers). There is no trail along the riverbed. The river is not deep this close to its source and is joyfully walked through on hot summer days. Close-up views of Mt. Shuksan and surrounding peaks abound with lots of photo opportunities. We will have lunch at the turn-around point along the river bed.

We will meet in the Lowes parking lot in Bellingham near the KFC at 7:00am. We will carpool/caravan from the parking lot leaving at 7:10am sharp for the trailhead. If you do not wish to carpool and prefer to drive in your private vehicle alone, that's fine too (it's about a 1 hour 30 minute drive from Bellingham) so we should be at the trailhead at about 8:30am. When carpooling, driver's make the rules for their own vehicles including mask usage and stuff like that. If carpooling with another person, please bring a clean bag for your wet boots at the end of the hike, and a little money help the driver with gas.

Driving Directions to Lowes in Bellingham: Take Exit 255 from I-5. Lowes and KFC are right next to I-5. We'll meet in the Lowes parking lot near the KFC at 7:00am.

Driving Directions to Trailhead : Travel east on Hwy 542 for 12.5 miles past the Glacier Public Service Center. Turn left on Hannegan Pass Road 32 (just before a bridge). Follow Road 32 just over one mile to the junction with Nooksack Cirque Road 34. Follow Road 34 for one mile to the parking area at the end of the road.

Weather policy: I may reschedule this hike if the forecast calls for rain or wind. I don't usually postpone for a little rain, but this hike is best on a hot or warm dry day as we will be getting wet!

For more information on this hike, please see:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/nooksack-cirque

For 10-essential info, please see:
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html

Disclaimer: We are not professional hiking guides or medical professionals. We are volunteers. You alone are 100% responsible for your own comfort and safety. By attending this hike you agree to these terms and do not hold hike organizer(s) liable for injuries and/or medical issues during or after this event.

4
Tuesday, August 23, Ptarmigan Ridge Hike

Needs a location

Caution: Strenuous This is a 12 mile out-and-back hike of Ptarmigan Ridge starting from the Artist Point trailhead. Elevation gain is 2,500 feet with a max altitude of 6,400 feet Northwest Forest Pass required for parking at the trailhead (Artist Point). We love dogs but please no dogs on this one owing to the high adventure nature of this hike. Privy available at trailhead.

Overview: Alpine views are spectacular from the parking lot all the way to the turn-around-point. Glacier lakes and meadows abound. This is another one of those super-scenic otherworldly beautiful hikes. We will be hiking along a narrow trail that disappears towards the Portals East with plenty of vertigo inducing cliffs as we make our way up to the top of Portals East. We will have a brief lunch at the turn-around point. The goal turn-around point will be the Portals East next to Mt. Baker. This is an all-day event please do not make plans for later in the day.

Stamina/Cliffs/Snow Field Alert: This is a long distance alpine hike. We will be hiking along cliffs, steep terrain, and through remnant snowfields. Your stamina might be somewhat affected because of the altitude. Hiking poles and boots with excellent traction are required. With the chilly spring there will probably be at least a snowfields covering portions of the trail. I will be bringing my micro-spikes for extra traction in the snow. While not essential, an ice-axe might be appropriate as well. You will need to be in excellent hiking shape having completed similar hikes, in terms of distance and elevation gain, in your recent past. Pace will be moderate and I'd like to stay as one group. We will be going the full distance on this hike!

We will meet at the Artist Point trailhead at 8:45am. You may organize carpools in the comments section below.

Driving Directions to Trailhead (Artist Point): Head east on Hwy 542 (the Mt. Baker Highway) for 57 miles to the very end of the road, past the ski area all the way to the top. It's about 1 hour and 45 minutes to Artist's Point from the I-5 exit. Leave Bellingham a bit early for bathroom and restroom breaks as necessary.

This is a highly exposed, high altitude route. As such, I may cancel or postpone this hike if we get steady rain, snow, or wind.

Hope to see you on Ptarmigan Ridge!

For more information, please see:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ptarmigan-ridge
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/ptarmigan-ridge-trail

For 10-essential info, please see:
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html

Disclaimer: We are not professional hiking guides or medical professionals. We are volunteers. You alone are 100% responsible for your own comfort and safety. By attending this hike you agree to these terms and do not hold hike organizer(s) liable for injuries and/or medical issues during or after this event.

1
Saturday, October 1, Hike of Yellow Aster Butte -- Fall Colors Hike

Needs a location

Many folks have been asking me about the classic fall colors hike known as Yellow Aster Butte. I love this hike so let's get it on the schedule!

Caution: Strenuous This is a 7.5 mile out-and-back hike of Yellow Aster Butte (YAB, for short). Strenuous level with 2,550 feet in elevation gain and a high point of 6,150 feet. Well behaved dogs welcome but must be leashed. Northwest Forest Pass required at the parking area. Privy available at trailhead.

Overview: This hike will revitalize your eyes and brain with its beautiful fall colors. Yellow Aster Butte has excellent views (weather permitting) of the North Cascades into Canada, views of Baker and Shuksan, and is one of the most popular hikes in the North Cascades. We will take time for photos. We'll break briefly for lunch about half-way through. If it's cold, I don't plan on stopping for a long lunch break as we will start to freeze in our own sweat. Bring your 10 essentials and plenty of water. Also bring/wear plenty of layers as it potentially could be a bit chilly up there. This is an all-day hike, please do not make plans for later in the day.

Stamina/Cliffs Alert: We will hike at a moderate, but steady, pace. You will need to be in excellent hiking shape having completed similar hikes, in terms of distance and elevation gain, in your recent past. The hike has some cliffs along the trail in spots.

Start Time: Yeah, it's early, but to beat the crowds on this Saturday hike let's meet at the YAB trailhead at 7:30am. You may organize carpools in the comments section if you desire. Please be respectful of drivers and their vehicles and help with gas.

Driving Directions to Trailhead: Drive east from Bellingham on the Mount Baker Highway (Hwy 542) to the Glacier Public Service Center on Highway 542 (34 miles east of I-5). Keep driving east on Hwy 542 for about 12 more miles, then turn left onto Twin Lakes Road (FR 3065). Keep a sharp lookout for the WSDOT Shuksan Maintenance Facility -- the road is located at the east end of the parking area of this facility. It is easy to miss! Proceed 4.5 miles on Forest Service Road 3065, then reach the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead and parking area.

Weather policy: We will hike sun, clouds, or a light rain or snow. Heavy rain, blizzards, high winds, or the possibility of mountain thunderstorms will cancel the hike.

I look forward to having you join me for this hike!

For more information, please see:
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/yellow-aster-butte
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/yellow-aster-butte-trail

Disclaimer: We are not professional hiking guides or medical professionals. We are volunteers. You alone are 100% responsible for your own comfort and safety. By attending this hike you agree to these terms and do not hold hike organizer(s) liable for injuries and/or medical issues during or after this event.

Past events (271)

Hidden Lake Lookout

Needs a location

Photos (2,282)