Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dock Butte & Blue Lake

 Mt. Baker and Black Buttes

One of the places we had not been on a hike was the Blue Lake Trail that also goes to Dock Butte.  This trail is located near Mt. Baker and has beautiful views of the mountain, Black Buttes, Glacier Peak, Mt. Shuksan, and the Twin Sisters Range.  Toward the beginning of the trail it separates with one section going to Blue Lake and the longer route heading up to Dock Butte.  The drive was far enough from home to encourage us to hike to both so we did Dock Butte first and then on the way down took the trail to the lake.  The round trip was 4.7 miles with a 1200-foot vertical gain.  

 A closer view of Black Buttes, an old giant volcano crater on the west side of Mt. Baker.  It blew out the side similar to Mt. St. Helen's.  It was believed to have been higher than the current Mt. Baker.

Mt. Shuksan

 Twin Sisters

 Glacier Peak

Picket Range

We did this hike in mid-September when there was a little autumn color and a few plants had berries such as the Mountain Ash, Twisted Stalk, and Elder Berry.  The trail to Dock Butte is quite steep with the very last portion a hand and foot scramble that we decided not try.  Instead we had our lunch at the false summit and enjoyed the views.  We were very glad we took the effort to visit Blue Lake also as it is a beautiful small mountain lake well worth seeing. 

Red Elder Berries

 Fall color

 Twisted Stalk berries

 Bog Orchid still in bloom

Mountain Ash berries

Fall colors 

 Small mountain tarn

Panoramas of Mt. Baker and the trail near where we stopped for lunch

Blue Lake

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