Nothing better than a nap in the reclined car seat on the ferry, waking up from the beauty sleep and being at the trailhead of a great hike in no time. Turtleback Mtn. is the oldest rock formation in the San Juans – I believe. Who cares, we are going there for the fantastic views of the islands, the Golden Eagles, soaring in the sky, and of course for the magnificent Garry Oaks, that are endangered in our neck of the woods. Sorry you couldn’t make it.
One hearty hiker joined me for Saturday’s Baker Lake North outing.
We’ll call this one, “Lois and Clark trailblaze along Baker Lake”, as the plethora of wind-blown downed trees along the Baker Lake North trail was a challenge for Laura and I to navigate at times. Bridges and most the trail were in great shape but our WTA friends will need more than a weekend to clear all the downed trees along the trail. One section had a large enough patch that we ended up getting lost on our way to the continuation of the trail. More than once we took off backpacks, tossed them over logs, and slid through gaps or slithered along on the ground getting under a downed tree. Once we arrived at Noisy Creek Campground there were groups camping though it appeared that perhaps they rowed across the lake. The Lake is down considerably, I’ve never seen it this low. Beautiful day for sure, really glad we live in an area that allows us to get to a hike like this and back home that same afternoon. Pics added to our Flickr account shortly.
A small but enthusiastic group left the Sedro Woolley ranger station at 8;30 on a sunny, if slightly chilly, morning. Driving to the Baker Lake road we passed through some thick mist with picturesque sunbeams through the trees, so the day was going well before we even got to the trailhead. There are some giant potholes in the road just after the blacktop ends, but it gets better. The hike was uneventful, except for having to surmount several fallen trees, but the forest was looking green and refreshed, the moss was growing luxuriantly, mushrooms were sprouting, lichen was hanging, and wisps of mist added to the general esthetic experience. Anderson creek was spectacular. We met very few people on the trail or at Maple Grove. Baker and Shuksan were both completely clear against a cloudless blue sky. The shore was steaming as it dried off after the last few days’ rain. The lake is about 20′ lower than usual and there are some enormous stumps exposed- one is at least 15′ across.After lunch, general chat, taking of pictures, and lazing about, we packed up and left, meeting a few people on the way back to the cars. A great day out, in perfect weather, and good company.OwenI took a few pictures. Here is a link:https://www.flickr.com/photos/141990423@N03/albums/72157716797981752
Lets see, interesting and fun people, abundant sunshine, cool temps, small crowds, and nature at its finest. Sound too good to be true? It is real and it all happened during yesterday’s Mount Baker Club outing to Lily and Lizard Lakes.
7 fine individuals arrived at the trailhead on time, and we spent the next 4 hours exploring Lily and Lizard Lakes, North Butte, and a good portion of Blanchard Forest. Total distance was 7.5 miles with 1400’ cumulative elevation gain. Great pace and a great group. Thanks for all who got to share in this beautiful day in the Chuckanuts.
Pics on Flickr if you want to check it out. One photo was added from a 2017 hike to Cascade Pass which was discussed frequently yesterday, Marie did not know she had a furry friend on the hunt for fresh rip blueberries right behind her on the trail until we showed her this picture.
Is a trip report required if no other members come along? Why not. I, and one non-member guest (my naive young employee) who thought this sounded like fun, and one well behaved dog on a leash, arrived at the trailhead mid morning.There were 3 cars present in the 20 vehicle parking lot when we headed up the trail. That, and the fact that no members wanted to join the hike should have been a hint of what was to come. It was a long grind, though my young companion seemed less affected by the relentless upward switchbacks than I.I’ll start at the beginning: The Forest Road 3040 was relatively short at 2.5 miles, and not in bad shape as most forest roads seem to be these days. There is that big washout (gully) about halfway in. Most sedans would high center, so high clearance vehicles required. There is water running across the road. Not a problem Friday, but with heavy rain, could be an additional issue.The trail itself was in excellent shape, especially through the 3 miles of forest. In the meadow there were some muddy patches, but not bad. No bugs, but for grasshoppers, and tons of sweet ripe blueberries as you climbed higher. The wild flowers are mostly done.On the way up, we passed the 6 other hikers and one dog on their way down. The rest of the way to the top, and all the way down, there were no other hikers at all. The parking lot was empty except for my truck when we returned. The round trip hike took 6.5 hrs, and included many rest stops, lunch, view gazing at the top, and time lost unintentionally videoing the top of my head, while trying to take photos. There is that cable for the scramble to the top, but I took a little path to the right that seemed to me to be easier. The weather people promised that the smoke would clear, but from the photos you can see that to the South, smoke was evident and Mt Baker could barely be seen. To the North, the skies were bluer and not as hazy. I had dressed for a Fall hike, but soon it felt like a summer hike, and I wished I had on shorts and a lighter shirt.The long downhill trek did have the usual effect on my knees, but it was a wonderful day, and unusual to have a popular hike pretty much all to ourselves.
A multi-species party of seven humans and two dogs met at Sedro Woolley ranger station and then got in their separate vehicles and drove to Baker Lake road, then across the dam, with the traditional pit stop at the campground. The road to the trailhead is mostly in fair shape but the bad parts are awful, with enormous potholes. Ignoring the side trails to Anderson Butte and Anderson Lakes, we pressed on to Watson Lakes and reached the second lake in time for lunch. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot, with a slight breeze. The lake was transparent. One brave soul plunged (briefly) into the lake . Dragonflies patrolled the shore. Occasionally a fish jumped. It was very peaceful. After lunch we wandered a little further towards the end of the lake, but failed to find a convincing trail. The trip back was uneventful, with the highlight of a spectacular view of Mt. Baker. We met a few people on the trail, mostly campers going to the lake, but it was not crowded.
Total distance was a little over 6 miles. Elevation gain is hard to measure. The lake is almost at the same level as the trailhead but you have to go up and down two big ridges to get there. The cumulative climb is over 2500′,
Thanks to all participants, including the dogs who behaved impeccably throughout the trip.. Owen
The legal limit of 6 people drove independently to the trailhead and were horrified to find hundreds of vehicles parked along the road. Fortunately we had been warned that this might be so but the trail would not be crowded. Apparently lots of people are out backpacking. The back country campsites are all booked up. As promised, the weather was pleasant, there were few if any blackflies, and the floral display was magnificent. Ruth mountain still has a large snowfield, water was pouring off Sefrit and the Nooksack Ridge, and the flowers continued to be gorgeous. Arriving at the pass, we decided to follow recommendations and climb up the peak trail for a while to get even better views and even more flowers. One of our party went ahead to the peak . The rest of us sat down and had lunch. After we thought we had enough sensory overload, we started down, meeting several groups of backpackers and some individual hikers who were coming up, but the trail was never crowded and most of the time we had it to ourselves. Another great day out with the Mt Baker Club!. Thanks to all the participants. I will be posting some pictures when I have sorted them out, but here is one to be going on with.
Eight enthusiastic hikers, divided into two groups and spaced out according to Covid restrictions, braved the bright sunshine and paved road to meet at the Heather Meadows ranger station/picnic area and complete the Chain Lakes Loop in clockwise order. The sunshine and views were constant, the breeze was intermittent but mostly there, keeping bugs at bay, and it was a great day to be out in the mountains. Thanks to everyone who joined me on this hike.You all passed the test, refusing to follow me when I tried to direct you astray at one point, thus proving once again, that you don’t even have to know where you’re going to lead a Mount Baker trip on a popular trail.
Sunday morning 8 Mount Baker Clubbers met in Sedro Woolley in preparation for the Anderson/Watson outing. A large circle was formed as we briefly said our hellos behind protective masks before heading up the mountain. Surprisingly we arrived at the trailhead in 6 different cars and all found parking on a Sunday morning. At the trailhead the temp was 70 degrees, the skies were clear and the air was crisp, fantastic day for a hike! We left in 2 groups put together by speed requirements but continued to meet up with each other on the trail to check in with each other. First stop was Anderson Butte where we enjoyed the North Cascades unobstructed from 5000 feet. Spectacular. 2nd stop was Lower Watson Lake where we had lunch, 2 of us got into the water, and cooled off as we began feeling the unobstructed sun rays. Great day with wonderful people at one of the North Cascades’ finest day hikes. There were at least a dozen overnighters that were coming down the mountain as we went in, consensus amongst them is that they all experienced incredible skies as the night was clear and dry. None reported seeing comet Neowise. Down by the lakes is a great place to see the stars, one member on this trip might put together an overnight outing to Watson Lakes for this year’s Perseid meteor shower next month.
By spreading out on the trail we were able to take off our masks and breathe, and when we did get together as a whole or in smaller groups it was understood that masks went on. Overall the small changes we made in order to hike were minimal when you take a step back and look at the big picture.
Lindeman Lake Parking Lot, 63100 Chilliwack Lake Rd, Fraser Valley E, BC V0X 1X0, Canada (map)
Let’s get the passports and visit our neighbors in BC for a day hike to Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes. After the 1h 40 min drive we will hike approximately 6.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1600 ft. Stunning scenery and access to two lakes. Expect lots of boulder field crossings; good footwork and balance required. Bring water, snacks, lunch and sunscreen. Hiking poles are advisable.
The clouds disappeared and the sun came out as we were driving along the beautiful Chilliwack River valley to the trailhead. The fresh whitewater came rushing down the mountains and awoke our anticipation of a great hike.
It’s a popular trail and we fit right in with the young folks climbing up the mountain. We with our lunch packs, they with their camping gear shouldered. Nine of us were brave enough to tackle this technically challenging hike.
The view of the Lindeman Lake did not disappoint. All mountain lakes have something magical to look at and the Lindeman Lake is one of the nice ones. After we took our group picture we were ready to take on the boulder fields. Most of the boulders were overcome easily, some of them required more effort.
We crossed the creek several times with the help of bridges or by bolder hoping. After lunch in one of the bolder fields we pushed on to conquer the Greendrop Lake. Not everybody in the group was convinced it would be worthwhile since we were told by fellow hikers the Greendrop Lake does not measure up to the Lindeman Lake in terms of beauty.
The hike there presented an additional layer of complications by some blowdowns. Nothing could stop our determination and finally we made it to the lake. I for my part have to say the Greendrop lake is beautiful as well.
On our way back we all could feel our legs burning and looked back on a great hiking day as we arrived at the parking lot. It felt good to be back in the mountains for the new 2019 hiking season. Many thanks to the 8 hikers who joined me on this hike and made it a memorable one for me.