68 – Yellow Aster Butte

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.

Great view from trailhead . . . booting up on the tailgate

With slices of homemade pizza in our pack, we hoped to picnic near the junction of the trail to Tomyhoi Lake just below Gold Run Pass as we signed in at the trailhead.

Signing in at the trailhead . . .

Filled with bushes and wildflowers, the trail started out climbing quickly on switchbacks leading through an old slide area.

(pic by Kent) . . . Tiger Lilies along the trail

With a few easy stream crossings, the trail continued to gain in elevation a bit more gradually once we entered the forest.

(pic by Kent) . . . stream crossing along the trail

Continuing, we entered the Mount Baker Wilderness area within the National Forest.

Entering the Mount Baker Wilderness area

Finally, the trail led us into the snow.

No hike seems complete without 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.

Ice trekkers . . . great for hiking on the snow

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

The trail is . . . . . . . there

With temps in the high 70’s, what a fun afternoon it was as we climbed the snow banks in the bright sunshine.

(pic by Kent) . . . trekking through the snow

Finally coming to a large snow field that was scattered with huge boulders, we had found the perfect spot for our picnic.

“homemade” pizza picnic . . . at the pass

With an excellent view of majestic Mount Baker, once again, it seemed that we had found the top of the world.

(pic by Kent) . . . on top of the world – Mount Baker backdrop

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.

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With my step-sister and her husband now residing fulltime at their home in the Mount Baker Rim Community at Glacier, we had made arrangements to visit with them after our hike.

Climbing the steps to the treehouse

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.

(pic by Judy Borman Harding) . . . Us, on top of the treehouse steps

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.

Sliding down the pole . . . from the treehouse

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