park butte fire lookout

Pick A Date


trail head fire

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.

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 snowmelt, 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.

mount baker from park butte view southwest from park butte lookout
view southeast from park butte lookout south view from park butte view east from park butte lookout tower


waterboy along rail road grade

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.

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.

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.

mount baker from parking area creek crossing early on park butte trail
ridgeline for park butte ridge to the black buttes first view when exiting the trees
rail road grade mount baker rail road grade near park butte
looking south from park butte trail looking south from rail road grade looking north from park butte trail