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Park Butte Trail #603

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (8)

An up-close-and-personal experience with Mt. Baker.


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Map Key

4.1

Miles

6.7

KM

Point to Point

5,402' 1,646 m

High

3,341' 1,018 m

Low

2,127' 648 m

Up

73' 22 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views

Description

Park Butte is a great intermediate step for hiker wanting to gain a little distance without too much strain in steep elevations. This hike is in the heart of the Mount Baker Wilderness, and offers a range of scenery. It begins in meadows, then moves through a creek bed, up to the forest, back to meadows and a final push up a rocky butte to a mountain lookout.

Difficulty: In the nearly four-mile trek to the lookout, there’s only a 1.5-mile stretch through a shaded forest of climbing switchbacks. If you haven’t been doing anything with significant elevation gains, it’s wearisome. But after that stretch, it’s a pretty manageable, though long, climb the rest of the way.

View: Koma Kulshan can be quite the elusive peak with the PNW clouds shrouding her beauty. However, when the clouds give way, she is quite the sight. Since this trail is an access point for climbers, the mountain is up close and personal during the second leg of the trip. Traveling up the backside of the butte there are stunning views of the Sisters, and the lookout is perched with sweeping views of the mountains and ridges of the North Cascades.

Who else is on the trail: The trailhead is the same as the Easton Glacier climbing route up Mount Baker, so there may be some swoon-worthy climbers around. Other than that, there are few people here and there, but this is not a crowded trail.

Snapchat-ability: It doesn’t even seem worth it to bring a mobile device. Reception ends about 6 miles up the Baker Lake Road, and there’s not even a blip for the next 15 miles of driving and hiking.

Contacts

Shared By:

Janae Brewster

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#5507

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#233

in Washington

#5,507

Overall
43 Views Last Month
1,906 Since Mar 1, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
63%
0%
38%
0%

Photos

Climbing Mount Baker - Mount Baker Wilderness
Nov 22, 2019 near Sudden…, WA
We had hoped for clear skies and majestic views of Mt. Baker, but I have to say this fog and rain was pretty cool too.
Aug 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
Mt Baker from Park Butte Trail.
Sep 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
Just after the trailhead.
Aug 14, 2016 near Sudden…, WA
Views into the surrounding mountains from the trail.
Mar 6, 2020 near Sudden…, WA
Clouds lifting slightly, on Mt Baker.
Sep 20, 2016 near Sudden…, WA

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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2019
Dennis Chan
8.2mi
Oct 12, 2018
Xzill Erationer
Sep 3, 2018
Abby Trimble
Stunning! Would love to camp on Railroad Grade and try the Parker Loop sometime 7.5mi
Aug 20, 2018
Jerry Timblin
Jul 20, 2018
Wendy Heil
Sep 21, 2017
Nico Brandt
Jul 22, 2017
Jake Riley
Took trail to railroad grade and eventually walked back on same path. Really diverse trail sections. Very little visibility when cloudy 4.4mi