73 – Ridge Above Chowder Basin (Day 3 – Chowder Basin Backpacking Trip)

Beginning the day with a spectacular sunrise, this would be our last morning in the Chowder Basin. After breakfast, we would be breaking camp and hiking back to Skyline Divide, then on down to the trailhead.

Sunrise . . . from camp

Entertained each day by the many resident marmots, as we broke camp, they seemed curious about us. Reminding me of miniature bears, this little guy posed for me part way down the hill just behind our tent.

Marmot . . . in the fireweed

Once packed up, we took the trail out of Chowder Basin.

(pic by Kent) . . . Hiking out of Chowder Basin

Having planned one more day hike before making the trek back down to our car, once we had hiked out of the basin, we stashed our heavy backpacks in a small thicket of trees, grabbed our day packs and took off on a side trail that we hoped would lead us up and along the ridge high above Chowder Basin.

Stashing our backpacks . . . ready for one more day hike

On our way up to the top of that ridge, we lost the trail in a snow field. But really, who needs a trail anyway? Scrambling off trail and on up to the top of the ridge, we found the trail once again.

Scrambling up to the ridge above . . .

We had a wonderful view from up on that ridge – Skyline Divide, Mount Shuksan, Mount Baker. We could see many of the places where we had recently hiked – Chowder Ridge, Chowder Basin, Cougar Divide, Grouse Ridge. It seemed that we could see for miles and miles and miles.

(pic by Kent) . . . Along the ridge trail

After that, we followed the Chowder Basin Ridge trail back to the trail leading to Skyline Divide.

Along the trail . . .

Back at Skyline Divide, it was time for us to make the hike back to the trailhead – and the car. A bit dusty from having sat in a gravel parking lot along a bumpy logging road for several days, but always a welcomed sight after a long hike. To read about Day One of this backpacking trip, go here – Day 1 – Chowder Basin Backpacking Trip, and Day Two, here – Day 2 – Chowder Basin Backpacking Trip.

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