Saturday, December 17, 2011

Skyline Divide

We had both had a very busy week and so on Friday, September 24th, my wife and I left to do some hiking as soon as she finished with school.  We followed the Mount Baker Highway to the town of Glacier and just outside the town took a forest service road known as Dead Horse Road another twelve miles to the trailhead for Skyline Divide in the Mount Baker Wilderness.

Photography was quite difficult.  On the trail it was already quite dark with the sun low in the west and even in the meadows the bright light and long shadows made it difficult to get good exposures.  Lower down there were not a lot of wildflowers but many different fungi.

We hiked the two miles to the top of the divide, taking our time and all the pictures we wanted, and were at the top in just over two hours.  We climbed steadily along the trail gaining about 1500 feet in elevation before we reached the ridgetop.  Coming down took only a little over 30 minutes and we were at our car just as the sun went down.

The wildflowers were incredible.  We had a very late spring, so the meadows near the top of the ridge were in their full glory,  The Lupines, Western Bistort, Mountain Heliotrope and Arnica were everywhere, but the trail was very quiet since it was too late in the year to hear any birds singing and there were only a few other hikers, though there were a number of cars at the trailhead.

This was a trail we had never been on before and we found to our surprise that it had some of the best views of Mount Baker that we have ever seen, and in the setting sun the views were especially spectacular.  We did not stay long at the top, however, since the bugs, especially the mosquitoes, were so thick it was hard to get pictures without them flying in front of the lens.

Note: as always, a number of these pictures are my wife's.

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