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Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 4539 | TRs
Location: Bend Oregon
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Old Not Bold Hiker
PostSat Mar 30, 2013 11:59 am 
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Pan-  Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Pan-  Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
12.8 miles 2587 feet climbing 2275 feet max elevation 713 feet parking elevation 7.5 hours including lunch and naps. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
12.8 miles 2587 feet climbing 2275 feet max elevation 713 feet parking elevation 7.5 hours including lunch and naps. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
12.8 miles 2587 feet climbing 2275 feet max elevation 713 feet parking elevation 7.5 hours including lunch and naps. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
12.8 miles 2587 feet climbing 2275 feet max elevation 713 feet parking elevation 7.5 hours including lunch and naps. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

I am glad to see that the Noble Poop Carriers, finally get their own icon.

Poop carriers get their own symbol finally! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Poop carriers get their own symbol finally! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

I am also glad that hardly any actual hikers read my trip reports, otherwise this pleasant and wonderful alternate to parking on the narrow shoulder of a busy highway and grinding up a bunch of tedious switchbacks, might be overrun by intolerant hikers that feel a sense of entitlement to be the only trail users on the trails, and not being willing to put in the tiny bit of effort required to actually share the trails.
Yes, you do have to be aware of horses, bicycles, trail runners, and not hike along in the usual comatose state of disconnected bliss, blocking the trail to all others. 
Now if that hasn't thinned the herd enough, before I give away this gem of a hike.  wink.gif
I will say I am impressed at how equestrians do have to have a total disregard for Low Carbon Footprint, being Green, or Low impact living to pursue their sport.
The 3 horses at Lower parking pretty well filled the parking lot.

Horses- no concern over low carbon footprint!  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Horses- no concern over low carbon footprint!  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Horses...Low impact?  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Horses...Low impact?  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

OK....did most everyone leave?   wink.gif
This is an awesome hike with relatively low volumes of use, compared to the "main", albeit shorter, route to Oyster Dome.  I must admit, the route did make me itch to dust off my mtn bike and come back for some mtn biking.    All mtn bikes I did see were very courteous and I did not feel threatened of freaked.   Others may be less tolerant.   

Access is EASY. Exit 240 off I5, over the freeway, turn onto Barrel Springs road, following the signage. Lots of car driving all the way to Samish overlook for a really short hike to the summit.

Good signage from Barrell Springs road. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Good signage from Barrell Springs road. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Easy gravel road access. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Easy gravel road access. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

I parked at lower trailhead to maximize my mileage.  No one seems to HIKE from lower trailhead.  Lower has a very nice outhouse and the horses do clean up after themselves in the parking lot.  Lower seems to be main spot for horse trailers.   The only thing missing in Lower is a trail.  Yes.... bewildered...I couldn't find a trail.  Eventually I figured out its a few minutes walk further up the road.  This can be a dust filled walk on a busy afternoon.

Ironic.  box drivers only ones thinking outside of the box. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Ironic.  box drivers only ones thinking outside of the box. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower Trailhead.  good facilites, just no trail. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower Trailhead.  good facilites, just no trail. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower trailhead is missing a trail.  You have to hike down the road a few minutes to find the trail.  huh?  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower trailhead is missing a trail.  You have to hike down the road a few minutes to find the trail.  huh?  Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Direct distance to Lakes. I did a loop with the dome. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Direct distance to Lakes. I did a loop with the dome. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Official map at upper Trailhead. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Official map at upper Trailhead. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

upper parking has no facilities, but closer access to a trail and no through traffic.
Parking is cramped due to a pile of gravel.

Upper parking Blanchard.  No facilities. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Upper parking Blanchard.  No facilities. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

Keep in mind this entire area is in a battle to have its views opened up and trails closed down....i.e. slated for clearcutting. Although I wouldn't mind some views being opened up.
This is NOT  a view hike overall. Just the crowded summit and less crowded Nameless Knoll for good views. 

Pan- Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Pan- Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Darwin award attempt. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Darwin award attempt. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Mandatory boot shot. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Mandatory boot shot. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lunch view. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lunch view. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
PAN- Oyster Dome View.Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
PAN- Oyster Dome View.Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Oyster Dome View. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

I will never give away the location to the easy scramble to get to Nameless Knoll.

Nameless Knoll. An easy scramble. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Nameless Knoll. An easy scramble. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Nameless Knoll view. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Nameless Knoll view. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Top of the Nameless Knoll. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Top of the Nameless Knoll. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Me.  Someday I will look back and be impressed at how fit I was at 60. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Me.  Someday I will look back and be impressed at how fit I was at 60. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

And yes indeed I just love my new Black Diamond Ergo Cork hiking sticks, after returning the POS REI/Komperdell posilock sticks I tried.

Not many views, but you do get a couple of tiny lakes/ponds. 
Just one view low down...

Only view on lower trails. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Only view on lower trails. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

I was lucky to get Lily Lake to myself and took a nap on a bench.  The quiet and calm there was simply amazing.  Just the occasional jump of a fish or a crow flying by for sound. (and a few planes overhead).

Stump reflection, Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Stump reflection, Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Reflections of Lily Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Reflections of Lily Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Good spot for a nap. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Good spot for a nap. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Pictures of Lily. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Pictures of Lily. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
bench nap view at Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
bench nap view at Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Goodbye Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Goodbye Lily lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake reflection. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake reflection. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake reflection. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lizard Lake reflection. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Beaver Pond. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Beaver Pond. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

This is a hike you take when you want a peaceful walk/run/ride  in the sun dappled, shady woods, with an interesting variety of trail users. 
Put it in cruise control, keep a corner of your mind aware of other users approaching, and enjoy.

Bridge at the waterfall. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Bridge at the waterfall. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower part of waterfall. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lower part of waterfall. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Waterfall along the way. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Waterfall along the way. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Typical blanchard mtn trail. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Typical blanchard mtn trail. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Stumped. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Stumped. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lots of bogs on Blanchard mountain. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
Lots of bogs on Blanchard mountain. Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
I really like my new Black Diamond poles! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
I really like my new Black Diamond poles! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
It's skunk cabbage season! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA
It's skunk cabbage season! Oyster Dome via Blanchard, 3/29/13, Bellingham WA

This hike was courtesy of getting a holiday for Good Friday.  A very very rare treat for me to hike on a day that most people don't also have off.
Although once I got onto the short route that starts on Chuckanut drive, a steady stream of college students, from Bellingham, were streaming up and down the trail, even on a Friday.

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friluftsliv
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Andy D.
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Joined: 19 Apr 2004
Posts: 198 | TRs
Location: Marysville, WA
Andy D.
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PostSat Mar 30, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Excellent shots!  up.gif  I've been up there a million times but never from that trailhead, I always start from the Samish Overlook. There's nice facilities there now but you need a Discover Pass.

I was hoping someone was up there getting shots of the clouds. It was pretty eerie having that roll in midday while out in the bay!
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captain jack
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Joined: 25 May 2004
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Location: El. 162'
captain jack
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PostMon Apr 01, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Your "Nameless Knoll" is widely and commonly known as North Butte.
A search of the site will reveal many reports about it.

Its not a big secret, but its nice to have a less crowded viewpoint than O.D. when the main trail gets overrun with the usual seasonal tourons.

The rocks at the top of North Butte are mostly jagged and uneven though, so you cant really stretch out and relax, plus the trees block the view, so it doesnt provide the photo ops that you get on O.D. 
This undesireability is why its always been the "red headed stepchild" viewpoint up there.
Still, its the highest spot on Blanchard other than the tree covered knoll just to the south, so its got that goin for it.  up.gif

My spot is the flat rock just north of the summit rocks and about 20 feet down. Less views, but it flat and comfy for sunning like a reptile, away from the crowds.

The old connector from Lily to Lizard is super secrit though, revealing its location, or the location of the shelter at the north end of Lily may be hazardous to your health.   paranoid.gif
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Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 4539 | TRs
Location: Bend Oregon
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Old Not Bold Hiker
PostMon Apr 01, 2013 9:34 pm 
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captain jack wrote:
The old connector from Lily to Lizard is super secrit though, revealing its location, or the location of the shelter at the north end of Lily may be hazardous to your health.  paranoid.gif

I thought I did a pretty good job of filtering the rif raf from reading this report and finding the sekrit options. biggrin.gif

first time Tigermn and I tried to find the lower entrance of L-L connector, we overshot it by a mile or so.   Definitely discreet.  I would show a picture of the entrance, but others need to earn the right, and find it on their own.
wink.gif

note the low hit count on this report.   My strategy seemed to work....OK, so that is a typical hit count of ALL my reports. haha.

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friluftsliv
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captain jack
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Joined: 25 May 2004
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captain jack
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PostMon Apr 01, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Well, its not like its a sketchy Picketts traverse, or some other high drama hike.
You can up the post count easily by including words like "teenie bikini" or "supermodel hiking hotspot " in your thread title, otherwise Blanchard mountain is pretty mundane.

I absolutely agree with you about the switchbacks up from Chuckanut on the PNT section. I hate that part. I still prefer the old Oyster trail that starts north of the bend at Oyster Creek.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Oyster Dome, Lily-Lizard Lakes via lower Blanchard 3/29/13
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