Park Butte Lookout
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May 2, 2015

I set out hoping to hike to the fire lookout up on Park Butte. However, it was not to be. The first part of the trail is easy going and even the switchbacks heading up through the woods towards the base of Mt. Baker are relatively easy to handle, especially for a North Cascades trail.

mount baker from the park butte trail
mount baker
creek crossing on park butte trail
creek crossing low down

Once out of the woods the snow quickly became constant as the “trail” continued to wind upwards. Although I was armed with a map, and following in what seemed like the appropriate footsteps of others, I began to realize that my sense of direction or others footsteps were not pointing the right way. I followed other steps without looking at my map or using my compass. Boneheaded mistake.

ridge line that the lookout tower sits on
lookout tower ridge
the black buttes on baker from the ridge
the black buttes
first view after leaving the trees
first view out of woods

Since getting home I know where I wandered off too. Nonetheless, I was enjoying the scenery and decided to continue climbing hoping maybe I would spot the lookout and work my way towards it.

railroad grade trail mount baker
railroad grade
upper portion of rail road grade trail
upper portion of railroad grade
looking south from railroad grade
view from railroad grade
looking south from the park butte trail
looking south from the trail
mount baker viewed from the park butte trail
mount baker
Jun 15, 2015

Wanting to get out of the house the wife and I decided to head up to Park Butte for a nice view in this unseasonably warm weather we are having. Just to extend the trip we settled on camping at the trailhead in the few spots (4 with horse camps) that are available.

camp fire at our trail head camp site
evening camp fire
mount baker viewed from the lookout tower
mount baker from lookout
view southwest from park butte
view from the lookout

The campground turned out to be much nicer than I had anticipated. Plus there was no one else camping at the trailhead that night. It made for a great night of laughter, fire, fun, and no need to keep quiet for other campers.The hike was great this time around thanks to some fast snow melt, making the trail obvious as opposed to my last adventure here.

A special thanks to those from the Skagit County Alpine Club for the hard work they were doing to maintain the lookout tower. An excellent little outing to start off the summer right, now that college is out of the way and we can finally relax.

view southeast from the lookout tower
view southeast from lookout
view south from the park butte lookout
view south
view east from the park butte lookout tower
view east

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