Tiger lilies, penstemon, Indian paint brush, fireweed, cow parsnips, columbine, bleeding hearts and more, it was high season for wildflowers along the trail to Yellow Aster Butte. Right from our boot-up, wildflowers lined the way. And look at that snow-capped peak! One mountain after another, gorgeous snow-capped peaks filled the horizon.
Filled with bushes and wildflowers, the trail started out climbing quickly on switchbacks leading through an old slide area.
With a few easy stream crossings, the trail continued to gain in elevation a bit more gradually once we entered the forest.
Continuing, we entered the Mount Baker Wilderness area within the National Forest.
Finally, the trail led us into the snow.
Snow was no problem this time! Having stopped at Yeager’s Sporting Goods on our way out of town so I could pick up a pair of ICEtrekkers, in no time I was safely tekking up and down those snow fields.
At times, the snow was so deep that it completely covered the trail, but with his advanced trail finding skills, Kent kept us on course as we continued our climb in the direction of Gold Run Pass
With temps in the high 70’s, what a fun afternoon it was as we climbed the snow banks in the bright sunshine.
Finally coming to a large snow field that was scattered with huge boulders, we had found the perfect spot for our picnic.
With an excellent view of majestic Mount Baker, once again, it seemed that we had found the top of the world.
To reach the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead from Bellingham, follow the Mount Baker Highway east for 34 miles to the Glacier Public Service Center. Continuing east for another 13 miles, turn left onto Forest Road (FR) 3065 (signed “Twin Lakes Road”) just past the Department of Transportation’s Shuksan garage. Bear immediately left at an unmarked junction and continue on FR 3065 for another 4.5 miles. Parking is available along the side of the road. Toilet facilities are available near the trailhead. With more hiking and sight-seeing opportunities available further up along that road, it continues on to Twin Lakes. We could see from where we parked, however, that the snow would have still been too deep for my car my old Volvo.
Overlooking a creek, the tree house is beautifully decorated and makes a lovely guest house. She took this photo of us as we climbed the steps for a tour.
Near dark and about ready to head home, Kent noticed the fireman’s pole next to the steps to the stairs leading up to the tree house. Encouraged by us, he gave it a try.