Take a Day Hike to Park Butte Lookout for amazing views of Mt Baker

Day Hike to Park Butte Lookout

By Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

May 27, 2021




Our Rating

North Cascades | Mt Baker Area

8.22 miles, roundtrip

(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x

Gain: 2264 ft.

Highest Point: 5489 ft.

Washington has quite a few historic fire lookouts, and Park Butte Lookout is one of them with an amazing viewpoint of Mt Baker.

Along this hike, you'll walk through fields of wildflowers, have views of the north cascades, and of course a perfect view of Mt Baker.

In fact, this is one of our favorite hikes to see Mt Baker. You can see all the crevasses on the south side of the volcano, and if you are lucky, you might see some brave climbers making their way towards the summit.

Getting Started

The trail starts off nicely with a relatively flat approach for the first mile or so. Eventually the trail opens up to an area with boulders and a creek. Usually there are cairns setup to help you find a safe way across the creek.

After the creek, the terrain changes into old growth forest, and the climb begins. This will continue on for about a mile and a half until the trees open up and you find yourself in the meadows facing towards Mt Baker.

The Way to Park Butte Lookout

In the meadows, you'll notice trails and campsites spread out all over the place. It is a great "choose your own adventure" area, however be careful of the delicate heather and alpine plants. There are a lot of areas under restoration right now because of human impact on these plants.

Continue making your way to the left, and you'll see the lookout in the distance. Continue to follow the trail up to the lookout.

At the lookout, be careful of old boards, and also make sure to give people space. Everyone can have a turn enjoying the lookout, but it does get crowded quick. Ideally do this hike on a clear day so you can get uninterrupted views of Mt Baker!

Click on images below to see a bigger picture

Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back

We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.

We also donate 3% of all our profits to organizations supporting the outdoors and working hard to keep these areas protected and safe.

About the author

Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

Bryan Carroll is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Movement Therapist who helps the outdoors community to reduce injuries and improve their health so they can get back to exploring nature. His big health crisis from mold exposure taught him the importance of finding the root causes to illnesses so you can take back control of your life. He is also the host of the Summit For Wellness Podcast.

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