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Pair a cold dip in the lake with a steep hike to Dock Butte


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.3

KM

Lollipop

5,153' 1,571 m

High

3,913' 1,193 m

Low

1,592' 485 m

Up

1,586' 484 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

55%

Max Grade (29°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fishing · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Good for adventurous families with older kids

The trailhead for Dock Butte and Blue Lake is closed until further notice due to a bridge washout on Forest Road 12. Check the trailhead status before visiting: fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/rec…

Overview

Less crowded than nearby Park Butte, Dock Butte is a worthy alternative to its more popular sibling. The views are just as spectacular, with Mount Baker featured prominently on the horizon. The only thing Dock Butte lacks is a lookout tower at the top. There used to be one, but Dock Butte's fire lookout burned down in 1964. Now visitors are left with nothing but unobstructed views from its former site.

Description

The start of the hike to Dock Butte is the same as Blue Lake Trail, but the two diverge 0.25 miles from the trailhead. For now, stay right and save the lake for the way back. The trail passes tarns and blueberry bushes as it climbs, with views of Loomis Mountain and Mount Baker to the north. It's a relatively easy trek for the first 1.5 miles. The final half mile to the summit becomes steep and requires a bit of scrambling, so be prepared to use your hands.

Once you reach the 5,200-foot summit, take in the views all around. You are surrounded by the North Cascades: Baker, Shuksan, Glacier Peak, the Twin Sisters, and many more. If the mountaintops are obstructed by clouds, Baker Lake may still be visible on even the gloomiest of days.

On the return trip, don't miss the opportunity to see Blue Lake up close, and to take a cold swim if you're up for it. Head south along Blue Lake's eastern shore to reach a tiny, picturesque peninsula. There are also backcountry campsites for those who choose to make this a backpacking trip.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers and blueberry bushes along the trail, and trout in the lake.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brandon Fralic

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#2221

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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#139

in Washington

#2,221

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Photos

Alpine lakes like this are just beauties.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA
Under Blue Lake.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA
A clearing right before the lake.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA
Sittin' on the shore of the lake.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA
Blue Lake through the trees.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA
Blue Lake is a gorgeous alpine lake.
Sep 4, 2018 near Sedro-W…, WA

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