Park Butte

Summit: 5,440ft

Native Land of the: Nooksack, Coast Salish and Nlaka’pamux

7.5m 2,200ft gain

A quick and scenic day hike to the historic Park Butte Lookout is a must for anyone who wants to come face to face with massive glaciated volcano. One could also stay overnight in the lookout (first come first serve) or pitch a tent along the way. No matter how long you plan to stay the minimal effort to get to the lookout will reward you with tremendous views of Koma Kulshan(Mount Baker), the North Cascades, the Twin Sisters and even the Puget Sound! The trailhead is shared with those climbing the Easton Route up Mount Baker so the summer would be quite busy.

Park Butte as seen from the Easton route on Mount Baker. The lookout sits atop the mountain closest to us on the right.

1st Trip: 10/06/2019

Sunday sunset hike with Ellie and Moose! The trail is easy to follow with only one hurdle, crossing Rocky Creek. Past the creek and boulder fields we quickly gained elevation until arriving in the flat Morovitz Meadow. Here we found the first of many tarns which offered excellent reflections of Koma Kulshan.

Here you’ll notice Railroad Grade trail which leads to the Easton Glacier but you’ll continue past it to more boggy meadows until gaining the ridge to Park Butte.

The tarns in the boggy meadows were our favorite. We took our time exploring each one.

There is nothing quite like staring at a maze of crevasses on a volcano with a pond perfectly showing its reflection. We could also see some of the jagged peaks of the North Cascades.

Far left is Mount Shuksan’s summit pyramid! Right two peaks are Seahpo and Whatcom.

At the lookout we enjoyed the stunning panoramic views. Mount Baker dominates the northern horizon with its handful of peaks: Grant Peak (true summit), Sherman Peak and the Black Buttes.

To the west is the unique red rock of the Twin sisters Range. North and South Twin Sisters offer some of the best scrambling in the state but you’ll need a bike for the approach.

Twin Sisters Range

To the east is the wondrous North Cascades!

Glacier Peak
Left to right: White Chuck Mountain, Mount Pugh and Sloan Peak.
Whitehorse Mountain

To the south was Rainier peeking out from behind Loomis Mountain.

Moose is not the biggest fan of lookout towers so we did not stay for sunset. Instead we enjoyed it during our hike down.

The Pickets left to right: Mount Challenger, Crooked Thumb Peak, Phantom Peak, Mount Fury
The Black Buttes: Lincoln and Colfax Peaks

The only color appeared over Glacier Peak and it was gorgeous. We made it back to the trailhead soon after sunset and were home in a just over two hours. This is an excellent hike and one of the best day hikes in the North Cascades! My next trip to this trailhead would be to climb Mount Baker using the Easton route!

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