Posts Tagged With: mount baker

161 – Dock Butte and Blue Lake

Dock Butte has been on our list of hikes to get around to doing for quite some time so when we learned that the snow was lingering there, we grabbed our snowshoes hoping for a chance to use them. We also brought our ice trekkers, because the temperatures had dropped since that first snowfall and since snowshoes do better in fresh powder than on ice, there was a good possibility that the snow on Dock Butte would be crusted over and the ice trekkers would give us safer footing on some of the snow-covered side slopes. Either way, we were prepared. Here we are, at the trailhead for Blue Lake.

Blue Lake Trailhead

Blue Lake Trailhead

After less than a mile along the Blue Lake trail, we took a side trail that would take us to Dock Butte. Sometimes almost completely covered with stray roots, the trail to Dock Butte is a less traveled trail and not as well maintained as the more popular trails. It is a well enough worn track though and we managed to find our way without too much difficulty.

A trail of roots

A trail of roots

If you are looking for more hikes in the Baker Lake area, I highly recommend putting this trail on your gotta-get-to list. Just look at the wonderful view of Mount Baker from along the way.

Mount Baker

Mount Baker

It wasn’t too long before we hit snow. It was frozen solid and at times even a bit difficult to push in the trekking pole into, so it didn’t look like we would get the opportunity to use our snowshoes on this hike after all.

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Snow on the trail

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Snow on the trail

I was very glad that we had brought our ice trekkers though. The snow along this long sideslope was frozen solid and in places, the footpath through the snow might not have been wide enough for snowshoes. I stepped carefully and with the help of my poles, and the occasional hand from Kent, felt safe and secure during this crossing.

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Snow on sideslope

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Snow on sideslope

Many of the tarns we passed were partially frozen. I like how Kent Doughty caught my reflection in this one.

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Rose by reflective tarn

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Rose by reflective tarn

One of our favorite lunches when out hiking just happens to be leftover pizza. Having made a pizza covered in black bean, chicken breast, mushrooms, olives and cheese the evening before, these leftovers seemed even tastier than usual as we sat below Dock Butte to eat. Once the site of a fire lookout, we savored every tasty bite as we replenished the calories we had exhausted during our climb to get such a magnificant view. With so many of our favorite local peaks visible, it was such a lovely spot for lunch!

Pizza picnic time . . .

Pizza picnic time . . .

After our picnic, we hiked back down to re-join the trail to Blue Lake so we could check out the lake too.

The trail to Blue Lake

The trail to Blue Lake

A very deep lake and said to have some good trout fishing, guess we’d better bring our backpacker fishing poles next time. 🙂

Blue Lake . . . reflections

Blue Lake . . . reflections

Driving directions with road and trail conditions and more information about the trail to Dock Butte and Blue Lake can be found on the Mount. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest website. Go here – – for that, and for recent trip reports on the Washington Trails Association website, go here – The Dock Butte trail is rated as “more difficult”, most likely due to its lack of regular maintenance than length (only about 4 miles round trip) and elevation gain/loss (only 1,400′).

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Skagit County, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

150 – Ptarmigan Ridge

This was truly a bonus hike! We wanted to hike to Ptarmigan Ridge last year, but snows came early, then melted away, and our schedules allowed us but one more day of high country hiking. We chose to hike to Lake Ann that day (go here – Hike #83 – Lake Ann – to read about that hike). That was a lovely hike, and I certainly have no regrets about having spent the day along the trail to Lake Ann. But, as we were getting back into our car at the trailhead at the very end of our hike that day, one of Kent’s old friends drove by and stopped to chat once he recognized us. He shared that he had just finished the Ptarmigan Ridge hike and how beautiful that hike had been. Snow returned the following week and continued on for the season, making the Ptarmigan Ridge hike impossible – until late this season. Our day started off with gorgeous weather, and even though we were in the middle of prepping for a six-day, five-night backpacking trip deep into the Goat Rocks Wilderness and would be leaving in two days, we decided at almost the last minute that this would be the day we hiked to Ptarmigan Ridge. Laughing, we called this our “warm up hike”. Ten and a half miles later, we were still laughing!

Ptarmigan Ridge trailhead

Ptarmigan Ridge trailhead

This must be one of the most scenic hikes up in the Mount Baker area. Starting at the Artist Point parking lot, the trail is shared with two other very popular hikes – the hike to Table Mountain and the Chain Lakes loop hike. We enjoyed a beautiful hike along the Chain Lakes Loop Trail last year. Go here – Hike #74 – Chain lakes Loop – to check that out. Because the hike to Ptarmigan Ridge is more difficult than the other hikes due to its being longer, having more elevation gain and sometimes lingering snow causes white-out conditions on the ridge, by the time we had passed where those trails turn off, most of the other hikers were gone. The views were incredible. That’s Mount Shuksan as the backdrop in this photo that Kent snapped of me along the trail.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the Ptarmigan Trail

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the Ptarmigan Trail

Millions of years of volcanic action and receeding glaciers have made the geology of this area quite interesting. It’s easy to understand how this pile of rock ended up here.

Explaning how this land was formed

Kent Doughty explans how this land was formed

We love snow fields along our trails as this near heart-shaped snow field confirms.

We love snow fields

We love snow fields

Cairns piled high along the trail bring the attention of passers by to special areas offering stunning views.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail

(pic by Kent Doughty) Along the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail

Often along the trail, the wildflowers were at their beautiful prime.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Wildflowers along the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail

(pic by Kent Doughty) Wildflowers along the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail

From this point along the trail, there were only a few more snow fields to pass, a little more elevation to gain, and a mile or so more before we reached Ptarmigan Ridge. I put on my ice trekkers and pulled out my trekking pole to make my going easier.

(pic by Kent Doughty) Rose crossing snow field on the way to Ptarmigan Ridge

(pic by Kent Doughty) Rose crossing snow field on the way to Ptarmigan Ridge

We brought along ice axes hoping for a chance to practice using them and had a great time playing in the snow.

Ice ax lessons . . .

Kent Doughty demonstrates using the Ice ax . . .

Here’s a shot of Mount Baker as viewed from Ptarmigan Ridge!

Mount Baker from Ptarmigan Ridge

Mount Baker from Ptarmigan Ridge

Carefully placed among the rocks on Ptarmigan Ridge now sits this tribute memorial. Dear Nina, though your days here were short, your memory lives on – and your view from this vantage point goes on for almost ever.

We love you, Nina . . . memorial placed on Ptarmigan Ridge

We love you, Nina . . . memorial placed on Ptarmigan Ridge

We took a break once we reached Ptarmigan Ridge and enjoyed the picnic we had packed in – and the beautiful views before turning around to make the hike back to Artist Point.

Back to the parking lot

Kent Doughty heads back to Artist Point

Visit the Washington Trails Association website, here – – for more information, recent trip reports and directions for the hike to Ptarmigan Ridge.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

86 – Goat Mountain

This hike was a real bonus! Chased out of the high country in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest by an early snowfall a few weeks before, turned out that snow did not stick around for long and before we knew it, we were hearing reports that the roads were still passable and trailheads once again accessible. This was merely a small window of opportunity, however, as we knew that a winter full of snow would be returning. We got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Mount Baker so we could and hit the Goat Mountain trail early enough with enough time to hike the entire trail – in and back – before dark.

Goat Mountain trailhead . . .

Goat Mountain trailhead . . .

The hike is fairly long (can be up to 11 miles in and back) and gains about 2,000′ in elevation. We passed huge stumps remaining from the old growth logging of years past.

Old growth stumps along the trail . . .

Old growth stumps along the trail . . .

It was a beautiful day for a hike as the sunshine filtered through the chard remains of the old-growth forest.

Burned out tree . . .

Burned out tree . . .

Views from the trail were stunning. Most of Mount Shuksan was void of snow when we hiked in the high country only a few weeks before, but today, snow covered nearly the entire mountain.

Mount Shuksan . . . along the Goat Lake Trail

Mount Shuksan . . . along the Goat Lake Trail

High up along the Goat Mountain trail, the top of Mount Baker came into view.

Looking to Mount Herman and Mount Baker

Looking to Mount Herman and Mount Baker

One nice thing about a trail that climbs up a mountain is that once up, it’s pretty much all down hill. Here we were heading back down to the trailhead.

Heading back down to the trailhead . . .

Heading back down to the trailhead . . .

While we go much faster when hiking down a mountain than up, because our daylight hours are so few this time of year, our goal was to be out of the forest by dark – and it was dark by the time we returned to log out at the trailhead registration stand.

Welcome to daylight savings time darkness

Welcome to daylight savings time darkness

For driving directions and more information about the Goat Mountain hike, visit the Washington Trails Association website here –

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

83 – Lake Ann

We hiked to a Lake Ann before (see Hike #78 – Completing the Heather-Maple Pass Loop (Day 3 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip), #77 – Lewis Lake, Heather Pass and Lake Ann Overlook (Day 2 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip) and #78 – Completing the Heather-Maple Pass Loop (Day 3 – Heather-Maple Pass Loop Backpacking Trip)), but that was a different Lake Ann than this one. With a name like Ann, I’m not surprised there is more than one. This Lake Ann is a beauty, and practically in our own back yard, is located in our local Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Lake Ann trailhead

Lake Ann trailhead

The hike to Lake Ann is somewhat challenging in that the lake itself is at about the same elevation as the trailhead, yet to reach the lake, one must hike approximately 1,900′ down, traverse through a valley and then climb back up approximately 1,900′ to the lake. It’s a beautiful hike though and the fall colors were absolutely right from the start!

Autumn color along the trail . . .

Autumn color along the trail . . .

After our long decent into the Swift Creek valley, our route leveled out near the junction for a trail that heads down to Baker Lake. There were several meandering creeks along that valley floor, but because our rainy season had not yet arrived, none were deep enough to soak our boots.

Crossing headwaters of Swift Creek . . .

Crossing headwaters of Swift Creek . . .

Finally we started climbing again, this time, over miles and miles of talus slopes.

Trail over talus slopes . . .

Trail over talus slopes . . .

Our view from the trail, always stunning and with penty of photo ops!

Photo op . . .

Photo op . . .

Having climbed high in elevation once again, we had one last snowfield to cross and knew that over the next hill, Lake Ann and Mount Shuksan would come into view.

Crossing snowfield . . .

Crossing snowfield . . .

Our first sight of Lake Ann, simply breathtaking!

Lake Ann . . .

Lake Ann . . .

We continued our hike on down to the lake and spent quite a bit of time exploring the trails around the area. Several of the trails took us to where we had a wonderful view of the glaciers on Mount Shuksan.

Upper and lower Curtis Glacier on Mount Shuksan . . .

Upper and lower Curtis Glacier on Mount Shuksan . . .

The hike to Lake Ann and back is approximately 8.2 miles so can be easily completed as a day hike, but there are are several nice campsites are available near the lake for those who want to stay a little longer. For directions, trail information and trip reports, go here –

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

81 – Even Higher Pass

From our campsite at High Pass (see Hike #79 – Low Pass/High Pass Backpacking Trip and Hike #80 – Gargett Mine to read about the other hikes we completed during this backpacking trip ), we could see the trail to “Even Higher Pass”, and such a beautiful morning, after our morning coffee we were heading up the trail once again.

Looking to "Even HIgher Pass"

Looking to “Even Higher Pass”

It was an uphill climb all the way.

Along the trail to "Even Higher Pass"

Along the trail to “Even Higher Pass”

The higher we got, the better the views.

Mount Baker to Tomyhoi Peak . . . from trail to "Even Higher Pass"

Mount Baker to Tomyhoi Peak . . . from trail to “Even Higher Pass”

Above Even Higher Pass, the trail turned into not much more than a shovel track as it switched back and forth up the steep slope of loose scree.

Footpath of switchbacks over side slope of loose scree

Footpath of switchbacks over side slope of loose scree

Looking at first like waterfalls in the distance with just the naked eye, through the binoculars and zoom lense of my camera as we continued to climb, we had a birds’ eye view of Mount Larrabee and could clearly see that those streaks were actually veins of white quarts.

Quarts veins on Mount Larrabee

Quarts veins on Mount Larrabee

We continued climbing the trail above Even Higher Pass, but turned back just short of reaching the ridge above the pass. Having climbed that high along the trail, it was a welcome relief to head back down again – to High Pass.

Hiking back down to our camp on High Pass

Hiking back down to our camp on High Pass

This was our last day at camp, so after returning from the hike to Even Higher Pass, we ate breakfast and broke camp, so stay tuned for the report of yet another fun day along the trail.

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80 – Gargett Mine

This hike was so much fun! We had set up camp on High Pass (See Hike#79 – Low Pass/High Pass – Setting Up Camp) near the same location as the Garget brothers might have passed. This photo shows the brothers dragging a load of supplies over a snowfield in the early 1900s at High Pass – and happy camper Kent at our camp near a similarly located snowfield on that same pass.

High Pass snowfield - Garget brothers (early 1930s) . . . our camp

High Pass snowfield – Garget brothers (early 1930s) . . . our camp

We saw remains of that gold mine through our binoculars as we looked out to the lower left of Mount Larrabee, so decided to hike down to it and have a look around.

The Old Gargett Mine is down there . . .

Following the trail from the pass down to the mine ruins, we were amazed by the color of the mountain blueberries,

Along the trail . . .

Many blueberries were ripe and we feasted on their sweetness.

Blueberries – ripe blueberries . . . everywhere

Still some unsafe snow bridges along the trail, we hike off trail around this one, but couldn’t resist checking it out as we passed by.

Unsafe snow bridge . . .

Here we are, at what remains of the mine.

Checking out the old Gargett Mine

The mine shaft was flooded with water and obviously unsafe to enter, but it was still very interesting to look in and explore the area.

(pic by Kent) Checking out the mineshaft at Gargett Mine

Here we are, hiking back up to the pass, and snacking on more blueberries as we go.

Snacking on more blueberries . . . hiking out from Gargett Mine

Go here – (pdf file) – for more information on the Garget Brothers Gold Mine.  If you find yourself on High Pass and have an extra hour or so, the hike down and back up to the mine makes a great side trip.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

79 – Low Pass/High Pass – Setting Up Camp (Day 1 – High Pass Backpacking Trip)

With no snow in the high country – yet – and the rare weekend off, we packed up and headed to the mountains.

Packed up and ready to go

More often than not, the days we are available for hiking and backpacking trips are during the week when there are fewer people out and about, so it often feels like we have the entire wilderness practically all to ourselves. For this particular backpacking trip, because of the condition of the last couple of miles of an old logging road that must be traveled in order to reach the trailhead for High Pass, there was a big advantage to being out there on a weekend. Only high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles dare make that drive, so for those of us who drive an older model Volvo station wagon, we must park below, near the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead (we’ve been that far before – see Hike #68 – Yellow Aster Butte) and hike along the road for another 2-1/2 miles as it continues to gain in elevation to Twin Lakes, and the trailhead for High Pass. So that’s what we did, we parked the car, loaded our heavy packs on our backs and took off on foot – with our thumbs out. This is why being there on a weekend worked to our advantage, because in no time, we were climbing into the back of someone elses pickup truck for the bumpy ride to the lakes.

Hitch hiking up the logging road

We were dropped off at the parking lot for Twin Lakes, and in no time had registered for overnight camping.

Registering for overnight camping

It was a great day to be out hiking – not too hot, not too cold.

(pic by Kent) Along the trail

There were clouds in the valley below us and overcast skies above. With plenty of stunning mountain peaks at which to gaze as the trail made its steep climb from Twin Lakes to Low Pass, we had a great time as we hiked.

Along the High Pass Trail

Having packed in slices of homemade pizza left over from the evening before, we stopped for lunch near Low Pass. Seems like such a treat to me to get to enjoy such gourmet treats – especially with a view like this!

Pizza for lunch . . . near Low Pass

We continued our climb along the trail, and in no time had reached High Pass where we set up camp.

At High Pass . . . setting up camp

As the full moon rose over the distant mountains, the clouds above began to clear.

Full moon coming up over High Pass

It gets cold quickly in the higher elevations once the sun sets, and darkness settles in early this time of year, but we were prepared with plenty of warm layers to wear. He’s cooking us a dinner of Annie’s Mac-n-Cheese with tuna, a very tasty treat on a cold evening.

Camp cook . . . Annie’s Mac-n-Cheese for dinner

High Pass is located in the Mount Baker Wilderness area of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Directions and trail conditions can be found here – High Pass Trail #676 – US Forest Service.

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

75 – Heliotrope Ridge

Do you like glaciers? Adventure? Wildflowers? Mountain views? Creek crossings? Forests? Marmots? If so, this is definitely the hike for you!

Fireweed . . . Coleman Glacier and Mount Baker

On our way to see the Coleman Glacier, right from the start the Heliotrope Ridge Trail held a sense of adventure when we were detoured around the bridge over Grouse Creek not far from the trailhead. The first of the many creeks we would eventually cross along the way, this was the only creek said to have a “real” bridge. With that bridge in the process of being re-built, we followed flags marking our way down stream from the fenced off construction site and crossed on a “temporary” bridge. While that temporary bridge looked rather like a log jam, nearly every step felt solid, and it was surprisingly more stable than it appeared.

Make-shift bridge over creek

Once on the other side of this creek, the trail led us through the wild and scenic Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Through the forest . . .

Then on past a refreshingly misty waterfalls.

Waterfalls . . . along the trail

Not far from the site of the old Mount Baker Club’s Kulshan Cabin, the next creek we crossed was Kulshan. With the aid of trekking poles, a hand from Kent, and plenty of logs and rocks on which to hop, I was successful at keeping my boots dry.

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

Soon enough our destination, the Coleman Glacier, came into view from along the trail.

Coleman Glacier . . . from the trail

As the trail cut around a side slope, we were surrounded by fields of beautiful wildflowers.

Wild flowers . . . along the trail

Then we approached Heliotrope Creek, the most difficult of the creek crossings along this popular Heliotrope Ridge Trail, and were met by a family of fellow hikers. Not a swimmer, and rather afraid of dangerous creek crossings (really, more like most bodies of water!), I forced my thoughts on the fact that if those kids could make it, so could I.

Trailmates . . .

This was one of those creek crossings pretty much guaranteed to get your boots wet. Not wanting to have to slog around in heavy, soaked boots for the remainder of the hike, I came prepared – with water sandles. The creek was flowing fast, icy cold, and in places up to my knees. With my sandles on, Kent gave me a reassuring hand, and I made it safely to the other side.

(pic by Kent) . . . crossing Heliotrope Creek

Proud of Kent as I watched him offer a hand to another hiker as she gave pause before working her way across that swift current, remarkably, even though somewhat intimidating – and definitely icy cold, everyone seemed so happy and invigorated by the experience.

Kent offers assistance to trailmates crossing Heliotrope Creek

Once on the other side of Heliotrope Creek, in no time we had reached our destination and were climbing along a ridge on a more primitive trail right along the edge the Coleman Glacier. With Mount Baker just above, it was absolutely beautiful!

Coleman Glacier . . .

Listening to the whistles of marmots as they played on the rocks and watching climbers as they practiced maneuvering around on the giant pillars of ice below us, we sat on huge bolders at the edge of the glacier and ate our lunch. Live entertainment at its best!

Climbers practicing on the glacier

Then it was time to turn around, and make the hike back down to the trailhead.

(pic by Kent) . . . along the trail

For more information on this hike, including driving directions and recent trip reports, go here – The hike, in and out, is approximately 5.5 miles in length and gains approximately 1,400′ in elevation. Be prepared for creek crossings, and most importantly, enjoy!

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74 – Chain Lakes Loop

We were not sure which trail we would hike as we drove to Mount Baker, but we thought maybe it would be the Chain Lakes Loop Trail – if the cloud cover persisted. Maybe, though, a different trail – if it was clear. Still cloudy as we drove through the little town of Glacier, so Chain Lakes it was. Parking at Artist Point, we began at the Chain Lakes/Ptarmigan Ridge trailhead. We followed the Chain Lakes trail around several alpine lakes and on up to Herman’s Saddle, then down to the Bagley Lakes Loop Trail. Once at the Bagley Lakes, we would hike out to Heather Meadows, and then complete our loop by working our way back up to Artist Point.

Chain Lakes trailhead . . .

The beginning of the trail took us past step-like columns of basalt that had been formed by ancient volcanic activity as we hiked around the base of Table Mountain, a dramatic andesite plateau, and on into a cloud of fog.

Along the trail . . .

The wildflowers were at their prime, and I thought the moisture from that fog made these lupines look as if they had been coated with sugar.

Lupines . . . water droplets from fog

Noticing a cold-looking blue color in the ice at the edge of a lake from up on a ridge, the trail dropped down to the shore of Mazama, the first in the series of alpine lakes our trail would pass.

Mazama Lake . . .

Stepping from stone to stone as we crossed a gentle flowing stream, we continued on to the next lake.

On to the next lake . . . stream crossing

Gaining in elevation, at times the trail was a large field of snow.

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

Before long, we reached Iceberg Lake. Aptly named, with Table Mountain on the right, note the color of some of those icebergs.

(pic by Kent) . . . at Iceberg Lake – Table Mountain backdrop

Next up was Hayes Lake. Lovely!

Hayes Lake . . .

Continuing along the trail, we climbed up and around to gain a great view of the other end of Iceberg Lake – and yet a different angle of Table Mountain.

Looking back to Iceberg Lake . . .

Continuing to gain in elevationin, we trekked over more fields of snow until we reached Herman’s Saddle.

(pic by Kent) . . . approaching Herman’s Saddle, Mount Shuksan backdrop

Here we are, on Herman’s Saddle with Mount Shuksan coming out of the clouds just behind us, and a tiny Upper Bagley Lake barely visible deep in the valley below.

Mount Shuksan . . . from Herman’s Saddle

It was beautifully scenic as we followed the Chain Lakes Trail on down until we had joined the Bagley Lakes Loop Trail.

Along the trail . . . below Herman’s Saddle

There are two Bagley Lakes, an upper and lower, and as it sounds, the Bagley Lakes Loop Trail goes around both lakes. Here is Kent, on the bridge that crosses Upper Bagley Lake.

Bridge over Upper Bagley Lake . . .

In places, the trail was barely melted out. We encountered this collapsed snow bridge, and were able to easily work our way through the clumps of snow without any danger.

Collapsed snow bridge . . . near Upper Bagley Lake

Still other snow bridges along the trail looked as if they were about to collapse. Always offering me a hand when it was my turn to cross, Kent, an experienced hiker and climber, checked the condition of these potentially dangerous areas first to make sure they were safe before we continued.

Snow bridge . . . along Upper Bagley Lake

Although we did this hike in reverse order from what is described on this Washington Trails Association trail description, for more information and directions to the Chain Lakes Trail, go here – The hike is a long – and steep – climb when approached from Upper Bagley Lake, so by completing this hike in the opposite direction, not only did it feel a little easier, we also enjoyed an almost constant view of Mount Shuksan and Upper Bagley Lake on our hike down from Herman’s Saddle. Very beautiful!

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Categories: Hiking, Nature, Photography, Whatcom County | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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