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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostSun Sep 09, 2007 8:23 pm 
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After reading Meganerd’s trip report on Trapper’s Peak and realizing I was a loser for never having been there, I decided it’s the thing to do.  JimK was agreeable.

Yesterday, as we pulled away from the curb, I admitted to Jim that my butt was dragging.  He mused, “well, it’s pretty hard to do 4100’ when your butt is dragging….”  He had already master-minded a backup plan and had the trip report earmarked in his book - the Park Butte Lookout.  I guess his butt was dragging too.   I was relieved (about both his butt dragging and the backup plan). I mean my butt was dragging.

I had never been to the Park Butte Lookout, and a mutual friend the previous week had mentioned hiking the Scott Paul trail – and also recommended the Birdsview Brewery in – well, Birdsview - close to the Baker road off Hwy 20.  An efficient, twofold plan. up.gif  By doing the Park Butte Lookout via Scott Paul, it's a 11 mile RT hike (give or take 1/2 a mile - we're not exactly sure about the mileage).

The Scott Paul trail, named after a Forest Service employee who conceived of the trail and later died while building a bridge -  shares 50 feet of the same trail as the Park Butte Trail before branching off to the right.  Nicely graded, and being actively maintained, this is a wonderful forest walk.  I asked Jim – “I wonder why they built this trail?”  It didn’t seem to do anything spectacular.  I guessed it was to entice at least a few pairs of boots off of beat-to-hell Screiber’s Meadow.  Never steep, it winds through forest for about 2ish miles before popping out into a beautiful meadow with a great view of Sherman Peak.
After meandering through forest, the trail pops out on the first of many meadows, and the first of many views of Mt Baker
After meandering through forest, the trail pops out on the first of many meadows, and the first of many views of Mt Baker

We rested here a minute, then continued up through a little more forest – then popped out to what is the signature of this trail – this is the purpose of the Scott Paul trail! twirl.gif  twirl.gif

Wonderful expansive meadows on the Scott Paul trail
Wonderful expansive meadows on the Scott Paul trail
The Scott Paul trail is a wonderful long traverse, rolling among the gullies and swales, each one chock-full of flowers - abundant pink monkey flower and more orange agerosis than I've ever seen before.  Millions of 'em!
The Scott Paul trail is a wonderful long traverse, rolling among the gullies and swales, each one chock-full of flowers - abundant pink monkey flower and more orange agerosis than I've ever seen before.  Millions of 'em!

Wow, what a wonderful way to experience the wonders of a volcano!  The trail contours and serpentines through gullies and swales choked with boulders, grasses, sedges, pink monkey flower and lupine.  One gully was particularly delightful – hundreds upon hundreds of orange agerosis flowers.  Wow, I have never seen so many of these beauties in one place.  Alas, no pics of this – they’re too small to photograph – I didn’t even try.

It’s a wonderful trail to see the Railroad Grade moraine.
The Railroad Grade is a moraine
The Railroad Grade is a moraine

We were beginning to think Jim was crazy for thinking there was a suspension bridge when lo!  Ahead was suspended a bridge, hence the name, “suspension bridge.”
Scott Paul trail
Scott Paul trail

We had fun crossing that, and continued to where the Scott Paul trail – at 5.5 miles, meets the Park Butte Trail.  From here we wandered up to the Lookout.
Still tons of lupine along both the Scott Paul and the Park Butte trails
Still tons of lupine along both the Scott Paul and the Park Butte trails
A hiker
A hiker
A hiker admires Mt Baker from the Park Butte Lookout trail
A hiker admires Mt Baker from the Park Butte Lookout trail
A visitor to the lookout gazes upon Mt Baker
A visitor to the lookout gazes upon Mt Baker

We enjoyed perusing the old copies of the summit notebooks with comments by visitors.  A couple of them had been removed, but were typed up for all to see.
Notice a familiar name here?
Notice a familiar name here?
Saga of Park Butte
Saga of Park Butte

We then headed down.

The Rock Creek crossing proved to be a bit more than we expected.  Last time I was on this trail was in 2001 (to railroad grade), and it was a fairly woogie rock-hop to me, but not too bad.  This time was a little different.  The water was chocolatey and ran over most of the boulders, so a ford wasn’t possible for us – you couldn’t see your feet!  We found 2 nice logs, I butt-scooted over them.  This is my favorite approach to crossing rivers (well, unless there’s a bridge).

I was amazed at the devastation caused by these recent floods.  The boulder swath in the past had taken several minutes to cross – this time it seemed to take forever.  At one point, it was evident that the water used the trail as a course, and gouged out a canyon, so we were hiking in a groove that was shoulder-high.  I do not remember this being the case in 2001.
This swath goes on for a loooong time on this trail.  Last time I was here (pre 2003 floods), it only took a few minutes to cross this boulder field
This swath goes on for a loooong time on this trail.  Last time I was here (pre 2003 floods), it only took a few minutes to cross this boulder field
More boulder field
More boulder field
This was once a bridge
This was once a bridge

The huckleberries and blueberries in the lower portions of the trail are sweet and ripe.

After the hike, we partook of the beverages brewed at the Birdsview Brewery in Birdsview, on Highway 20 a couple miles west of the Baker road.  It’s a new place, since last year, and is in a newly built octagon-shaped building.  Very good beer!  Ditsy Blonde and Witless was recommended to us – damn, this is fine beer!  I can’t wait to return and try their darker brews.  No frills here – no shakes, no fries – burgers, hot sandwiches, potato chips and a fresh-baked cookie (the place smells of cookies and beer).  It’s a family owned operation, and has the best bathrooms around.  We highly recommend it.  Children are allowed in the restaurant/brewery, and the menu has a nice kiddie section.

The Scott Paul trail is a wonderful discovery, and it rose to the top of my list of favorites.  Early season, I imagine this to be quite a challenge, if doable at all – the runoff from the snowmelt likely renders hiking this trail impossible. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m almost 100% certain a normal hiker would have trouble while the water is running high.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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cinnamon
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cinnamon
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PostSun Sep 09, 2007 10:13 pm 
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JimK
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 5:52 am 
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I do recall passing a couple. The guy was carrying a tripod. Any sunset photos to share?

Edit: I see that you have posted a thread.

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Hiking Northwest
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GeoTom
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 5:55 am 
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I like the Scott Paul Trail. up.gif Good backup plan.

When we went to hike to Park Butte a couple years ago, there was a large group of kids at the trailhead. Not wanting to subject them to my then younger, not as well-behaved dog, we forked off at the Scott Paul Trail. By the time we got to the lookout, most of them were heading down and we had the place to ourselves.

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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Magellan
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 5:58 am 
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Here ya go Jim.  Park Butte = pretty sunsets
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jenjen
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 6:55 am 
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Quark wrote:
The Scott Paul trail is a wonderful discovery, and it rose to the top of my list of favorites.  Early season, I imagine this to be quite a challenge, if doable at all – the runoff from the snowmelt likely renders hiking this trail impossible. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m almost 100% certain a normal hiker would have trouble while the water is running high.

I did this trail when it was still snow covered pre-floods.  The crossings were kinda hairy, but doable.  I haven't been on the trail since the floods, so they're probably a whole lot different than I remember.

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If life gives you melons - you might be dyslexic
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Riverside Laker
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 11:12 am 
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So... JimK...

How do you feel about being called "a hiker", or "a visitor"? What happened to being called "macho dude", "famous peak bagger", "explorer of exotic locales", and the like? You need to bop Quark over the head with a rubber chicken.
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More Cowbell
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More Cowbell
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PostMon Sep 10, 2007 1:28 pm 
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I think you might need something more like a rubber Tur-Duc-Ken...

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“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” - Unknown
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostMon Sep 10, 2007 3:18 pm 
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jenjen wrote:
I haven't been on the trail since the floods, so they're probably a whole lot different than I remember.

Both trails are in excleenet condition.  I guess you can't count Rock Creek as a sucky part of trail - the think is unfixable, and is right in the path of wrath of a volcano.

JimK hatched a plan for me last weekend while in the Glacier Peak area, walking amongst that devatated area.  I'll start up an organization for fixing trails and roads specifically those damaged in 2003 and 2006.  Since there's already a Washington Trails Association, he figured it could be named Washington Trails Foundation.

However, we're a little unsure what the affects of the Foundations' acronym will be.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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BeyondLost
Crazy Bob



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
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BeyondLost
Crazy Bob
PostMon Sep 10, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Since there's already a Washington Trails Association, he figured it could be named Washington Trails Foundation.

However, we're a little unsure what the affects of the Foundations' acronym will be.[quote]


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