Features: Views — Wildflowers
The first part of the trail follows an old logging road--good tread with a few narrow brushy sections. The trail steepens at the first switchback and enters old growth forest soon after the second switchback. Most of the elevation gain is on this middle section of the trail which zigzags uphill (mostly) dodging downed logs. There are lots of roots and rocky tread on this section of the trail.
Once the ridge top is attained, the trail flattens, tread improves and the views open up. At first there are glimpses through the trees of Mount Baker, the southern flank of Mt. Shuksan and Cascade peaks to the east. From here to the end of the ridge, views improve. The narrow section of Shannon Ridge is a great place to stop and enjoy the views.
The trail continues on, eventually entering North Cascades National Park. The continuation of the trail is the climber's route to the Sulfide Glacier and Mt. Shuksan. This trail is not heavily used by hikers and one can expect some solitude. Carry water, this is a relatively dry trail.