Monday, April 30, 2012

Baker River

I have other posts I have to get ready and get on line but this one takes precedence, I think.  My youngest brother (of four), Tim, is working in the area and was here over the weekend, so that we were able to do some hiking together.  Hopefully he will be here this coming weekend also, and if he is we plan to snowshoe to Artist's Point on Mount Baker.

Last Saturday (April 28) we hiked the Baker River trail together.  We decided on it because most of the trail in the North Cascades are still snowed in and will be for quite a while.  The Baker River trail never gets above 1000 feet in elevation and is in an area I have never hiked before.  We had a great day and it was a great hike that I plan to do again with my wife.

The trail follows the Baker River starting just northeast of Baker Lake at the northwest corner of North Cascades National Park.  It being in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and ends in the National Park at Sulphide Creek and the hikers camp there.  It is an easy trail and is only about two and half miles long, so we did not have to hurry and didn't.

Along the way and at the end there are some magnificent views of Mount Shuksan and Hagan Mountain and the glaciers that crown them, if the day is clear.  We caught only occasional glimpses of these peaks, since the day, which started sunny soon turned overcast and gray.  We enjoyed the hike nonetheless for the many other attractions to be found along the way.

Some of the wildflowers, Salmonberries, Trilliums, Wood Violets and Bleeding Hearts were blooming, but the trail is especially remarkable for the beaver ponds along the way, for its old-growth forests and the river itself.  We took our time enjoying the views, the ancient cedars, the flowers, the mossy undergrowth and the drops of water that bejeweled everything early in the day.

The River

The Mountains

The Forests

The Beaver Ponds

The Wildflowers
 Pacific Bleeding Heart - Dicentra formosa
Western Trillium - Trillium ovatum
Salmonberry - Rubus spectabilis

Lots of Small Nature

 Some Not So Small
Devil's Club - Oplopanax horridus

Waterfalls and Streams

Waterdrops Everywhere

And the End of the Trail at Sulphide Creek

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