approaching Mazama Meadow shelter
~8 mi rt
max: 4524 ft
gain: 1959 ft
The weather was rather overcast but I still wanted to get some snow so I decided to head up to Mazama Meadow via the Ridley Creek trail. I have written about the trail before so this is just a review and a snow update. I like going in from this trail even though the trail approach is a little longer because the road is accessed off of Mosquito Lake road just outside of Bellingham. If I go into Park Butte area via the normal route I have to drive down to the Baker Lake area and up that way which is a few hours away. Continue reading
max: 2014 ft
gain: 1268 ft
I had gone up to Glacier to help out on the clearing of Dead Horse Creek Rd, the road up to Skyline Divide but there is a tree spearing the road so we will have to wait for the big toys to take care of that.
view from first viewpoint at abou 2.5 mi from truck
~5 mi rt to first viewpoint (N 48° 37.935 W 122° 27.754)
~9.7 mi rt if you go to the top views (east and west)
This is a local hike I often do in the afternoon after I get off work. The views from the first overlook are excellent and while the crowds are up at Oyster Dome, I am here drinking my view beer all by myself : )
I thought I had written about this walk before but last night I told some students about it and that it was here on this here blog but when I looked I realized it wasn’t. Corrected. Continue reading
about 5.5 mi rt
gain: ~2600 ft
I love this trail, I use it just about every year. The parking area is low enough that it can be reached early on and if you are comfortable with snow travel then you can get to the tarns below Yellow Aster Butte (and up the Butte if you so desire) way before the regular trail can be traveled. Continue reading
I have written about Goat before, it is one of my favorite places and I sleep here once or twice a year. Wander Brewery had their 3rd anniversary the night before so I was a bit slower than I might have been. Once again I just went up to the meadow where I enjoyed to the views while having a snack and then heading down. I was trying to get down in time to go pitch in on the road repair over on Glacier Creek Rd. Continue reading
I wasn’t intending to go up Heliotrope/Hogsback but as I got closer to the mountain I found the truck turning up Glacier Creek Road…just to see how far I could drive up before hitting snow. Continue reading
One may think that the forest service roads around Baker would be maintained by the forest service. While they do the big things (clearing landslides, repairing bridges) the day to day stuff (clearing fallen trees, clearing rocks, clearing brush) is done by a group of volunteers, the Citizens for Forest Roads. Side note, if you are interested in helping out just email me!
The main person that organizes this has sent out an update on the conditions of the roads in this area and I told some people that I would share it here…so with no further ado here is the list.
Information here is as of 16 April.
- 31 Road (Canyon Creek) _ passable to MP 5.70 and the closure barricade. The running surface is cleared but there’s still debris in places on the shoulders.
- 3120 Road (West Church) _ gate opened April 15. Road is blocked from MP 0.00 by numerous downed trees. Firewood cutters may be working.
- 3040 Road (East Church Mountain) _ passable and debris cleared to MP 0.80. Deadfall debris starts at MP 0.85 and road is blocked at about MP 1.30 by numerous downed trees. 3040 Road beyond MP 0.85 is NOT RECOMMENDED for low clearance vehicles. Church Mountain Trailhead is at MP 2.69.
- 3060 Road (Welcome Pass) _ road is blocked MP 0.00 at SR 542 by downed snag. Road is snow-free above for an unknown distance. Welcome Pass Trailhead is at MP 0.77.
- 3065 Road (Twin Lakes) _ the snow berm is melted out at MP 0.00, Road is snow-free for an unknown distance. Gold Run Pass (Tomyhoi) Trailhead is at MP 4.39.
- 32 Road (Hannegan Pass) _ the snow berm is breached at MP 0.04 by 4x4s. Road has patchy snow from there. Goat Mountain Trailhead is at MP 2.46 and Hannegan Pass Trailhead at MP 5.30.
- 34 Road (North Fork Nooksack) _ status unknown.
- 3070 Road (Razorhone) _ snow-covered (about 1 foot remnant pack) at MP 0.10. Gate is closed until May 1 at sno-park. Parking area is bare.
- 3071 Road (Anderson Creek) _ snow-berm at MP 0.00 nearing melt out. Gate is closed until May 1.
- 33 Road (Wells Creek) _ snow-free and open to gate at MP 0.06, some debris on road and is snow-free above the gate for an unknown distance. Nooksack Falls parking area is snow-free. 33 Road is damaged at MPs 4.00, 5.20 and 6.20.
- 3310 Road (Pinus Lake) _ status unknown.
- 37 Road (Deadhorse Creek) _ cleared of debris and open to MP 0.38, Heavy slash on running surface begins and gets progressively worse with overhead clearance hazards out to MP 4.69 where it is blocked by numerous downed trees. Bridge Camp is open and being used, 37 Road beyond it is NOT RECOMMENDED for low clearance vehicles. Skyline Divide Trailhead is at MP 12.58.
- 37-031 Road (Excelsior Mine) _ status unknown. presumed snow-covered.
- 37-033 Road (Dry Horse Pit) _ status unknown, presumed snow-covered.
- 39 Road (Glacier Creek) _ cleared of debris to MP 2.90 and from there is passable, with wood and rock debris in places, to all vehicle to blocking snow at MP 5.20. Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead is at MP 8.20.
- 3910 Road (Thompson Creek) _ snow-free and passable through 1-Mile inholdings to MP 1.89 and blocking trees. Mountain bikers have ‘keyholed’ downed trees.
- 3940 Road (Smith Basin) _ gate is closed at MP 0.01. Wood bridges over Falls and Glacier creeks are not safe for motor vehicles.
- 36 Road (Grouse Butte) _ snow-covered, no condition report. Road goes to ‘closed to motor vehicle entry’ status May 1.
- 38 Road (Middle Fork Nooksack) _ passable to MP 4.85 and moderate blocking ravel rock debris at ‘Boulder Alley.’ CFFR has offered to clear the rockfall and open the road at that point and begin spring log-out.
A little detail about some of the roads:
Here is our Mid-April road status report for selected routes on the north end of the Mount Baker Ranger District.
The February silver thaw event below 1,900 feet elevation in the North Fork Nooksack Valley caused severe deadfall tree and heavy slash accumulation that remains on upper East Church Mountain and Deadhorse Creek roads. Persons unknown are hacking their way up blocked roads but are not doing it to Forest Service ‘standard’, so we recommend that low clearance vehicle operators and owners of newer vehicles wishing not to damage them or mar their finishes, at this time, should not drive those roads.
In the past 30 days, the Forest Service road maintenance contractor cleared the first 2.90 miles of Glacier Creek road including the two small slides and the biog boulder in the MP 2.20 vicinity. The contractor has been redirected to the Finney-Cumberland road system. We have been advised by the district road maintenance manager that there will be no further road maintenance work done on north end roads until mid-June or early July with USFS operational funds.
31 Road (Canyon Creek), by the combined efforts of the community totalling more than 350 hours, has been substantially cleared of wood debris but more work still needs to be done there. It is now safely passable to all vehicles. We soon will be re-directing our efforts to 39, 38, 37, 3040 and 3060 roads.