Backpacking, Hiking, North Cascades, Top Trips

Park Butte Lookout

I am, as always, a wee bit behind (aka lazy), so here is our trip report from last weekend. We slept in a fire lookout! Yes yes, we’re just that cool. ;)

We hadn’t been up by Mount Baker before, so we headed north. Since the fire lookout is first come, first serve, we drove up on Friday after work and car camped by Baker Lake to get a head start. Unfortunately our head start was all for nothing when we woke up Saturday morning and found that mice had somehow snuck into our car…apparently they got in somewhere by the front wheel and made their way to the trunk, where they proceeded to gnaw on most of our food. After spending ages chasing the mice out of the car, we were relieved to see that they had left us a couple packets of dehydrated food so we wouldn’t starve on our hike. Yay..

My scouts

Fail number two was the weather. We basically couldn’t see anything at all the entire hike up because of the fog. If it weren’t for the map, I would have no idea that we were walking right next to a huge volcano. We made our way up to the lookout where – success! – we were the only ones who planned to stay the night. After a while we gave up on getting a glimpse of the mountain and snuck into our sleeping bags with a couple of books. Then, miracle of miracles, just when the sun was setting, the fog lifted.


Sunset behind the Twin Sisters

The lookout & Mount Baker

It was amazing! It went from completely fogged in to one of the clearest nights I have ever experienced.

JK in the doorway It's full of stars! Light pollution

It's warmer inside

The next morning we lingered in the lookout for a while longer before heading out.

This is the life

Park Butte Lookout

Glacier Peak feeling blue

On the way down we found the beautiful tarn we had seen photographed in the guide book – I love the reflection of Mount Baker!

Getting water

The Markiewiczeseszzes

We were supposed to hike up to the climbers’ high camp on Baker before getting back to the car, but due to the whole mouse incident we were both really, really hungry. We ended up just hoofing it back to the trailhead instead. Now we have a good reason to go back.

Mount Baker

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  • Reply Mari September 15, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    dere er på de mest fantastiske turene!! Det ser helt himmelsk ut!
    skulle ønske jeg kom meg mere ut i den frie natur, og fikk sett slike steder som dere:)

    miss u!!

  • Reply Lindsey September 16, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Your pictures are AMAZING!

  • Reply Joscelyne Cutchens September 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    OH my goodness. THose are unbelievable pictures, just WOW!

  • Reply Donna September 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Gorgeous photos…thanks for sharing them with us.

  • Reply Gabi September 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    How funny. It was my very first hike in Baker area also. Glad the fog lifted for you. It’s so beautiful up there. How were berries in Schriebers Meadows?

    PS: If you liked Baker, you got to hike some trails off hwy 542 (many offer backpacking possibilities). Skyline Divide or Excelsior Ridge are two that come to my mind that you would for sure love – especially now withall the fiery fall colors coming up.

  • Reply Tracy September 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Sounds like a great time – your photos are BEAUTIFUL!!

  • Reply Latrice September 21, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Ingunn I’m so jealous!! Ok We totally need to hook up with you for one of these amazing hikes of yours. Great pictures girly!!

  • Reply Elizabeth September 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Ingunn!!
    you are one talented photog!! looks like you guys had fun!

    hope you’re doing great! :D

  • Reply Solgunn September 22, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Fantastiske bilder!! Jeg tenkte forresten på deg da jeg skrev om Mount Everest BC. Synes absolutt du skal trekke dit. Min bror tok turen noen år senere og plagdes ikke noe spesielt. I prinsippet så skal det gå an for de fleste å gå inn dit bare man akklimatisere seg godt underveis og bruker noen uker på turen. Jeg tåler dårlig høyde fordi jeg har et snev av astma.

  • Reply Leslie October 6, 2008 at 7:09 am

    I found your blog on CZ Design Your Life blogroll. We live in B’ham just up the road from Seattle. The Park Butte hike is beautiful. We really liked that one. Haven’t stayed in the lookout cabin yet but hopefully next year. How early did you have to get there? I know its on a first come first serve basis. Looks like you had a great time.

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