August 17 – Wednesday – Scott Paul Hike
About 1900′ elevation gain, just under 8 miles. This trail traverses open meadows and ridges above treeline at around the 5000′ level on the south flank of Mt. Baker, returning to the trailhead on the Park Butte trail via Schreibers meadows. Great views! Also, possible wet feet as two creek crossings may require wading.
Meet at the Chuckanut Park and Ride. We will leave at 8 am. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
After the murk of the last few days, and the solid cloud cover in Burlington, the sky at the trailhead was blue, with little clouds blowing about, and a nice bright sun shining. It was perfect weather for hiking- not too hot, not humid, with a cool breeze. The road was in fairly poor shape, with clusters of deep potholes and some roller-coaster waves on the bends. The trailhead parking lot was full when we arrived, though we saw very few people on the trail, so most people must have gone to Park Butte.
Six of us hiked the trail clockwise, starting on the Park Butte trail through Schriebers Meadow (with blueberries) and taking the right fork onto the Scott Paul trail. From there the trail climbed through forest before breaking out into the open at the foot of Railroad Grade and then climbing up and over a series of moraine ridges, across rushing creeks bordered by masses of pink mimulus, with the summit of Baker always visible above the end of the Easton glacier. A shady lunch spot allowed relaxation before tackling the last stretch, up and over another ridge and across another creek, then a steady descent on good tread took us through forest with more blueberries, (unless they were blue huckleberries), past some magnificent trees, and back to the parking lot.
Total distance was (I think) 8.1 miles. Gain in elevation from the trailhead to the high point at 5200′ was 1800′, but the cumulative climb allowing for the repeated ascents and descents was considerably more than that, so bragging rights were gained.
As always, thanks to those who came for their company on this excellent hike. Whining was kept within tolerable limits. I will post some pictures on the web site when I have sorted them out.