Excelsior Peak 7-26-19

It was a beautiful day in the mountains- clear and sunny, with a breeze. Fifteen hikers were in the party at one time or another, though the numbers present at any one location were variable. Clusters of deep potholes in the road made for some challenging driving, but everyone made it up without incident. The hike up through the forest was uneventful, thanks to some heavy-duty trail maintenance work that had cleared several 3′ diameter downed trees. Once out of the forest, the steeply sloping meadows were a mass of flowers: mostly lupins, white paintbrush, and bistort. There were fine views of both Baker and Shuksan on the way up. Reaching the pass, we headed up the trail to the right for endless views of mountain scenery, dominated by Tomyhoi and Mt. McGuire (in Canada, and therefore not on our maps). It seemed a good spot for lunch. Afterwards, some of the party returned to the pass while others climbed the steep trail to the top of Excelsior peak, and down the other side to rejoin the rest of the party. Surprisingly, nobody was missing so we started down, making good time to the trailhead. The customary stop at the beer shrine made a satisfying end to an excellent day out
Thanks to all participants for your company.
Owen
Total distance was about 6 1/2 miles. Elevation gain to the peak was 1500′.