Monday, November 7th, 2016
Fall Hike Exploring Schrieber’s Meadow on the South Side of Mount Baker
Todd Elsworth

Before the snow starts falling, my daughter and I wanted to get out for a fall hike. We set our sights on Schrieber’s Meadow on the south side of Mount Baker. My ulterior motive was to do a bit of scouting for my return to the Park Butte Lookout!

After a quick lunch in the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area parking lot, we headed out onto the trail. The first section of trail is lined with wooden boardwalks to provide for dry feet on the trail.

schriebersmeadowhiker

The views of Mt. Baker come into view rather quickly from the trail in the meadows. We simply enjoyed strolling through the flat trail, singing our songs to keep cadence with each step.

schriebersmeadowbakerview

As we passed through the meadow, we entered into the thick cover of the trees and we were intrigued by the variety of growth in and around the trees.

schriebersmeadowfungus

The greenness of the moss and the variety caught our eyes. We like to play eye-spy, even out on the trail. A pine needle is nestled in the moss, trapped like a fish in coral.

schriebersmeadowmoss

The lushness of the ground cover along the side of the trail is enticing for a mid day nap, but we carried on!

schriebersmeadowmosses

While I knew our destination would not be the Park Butte Lookout, I did want to get to the point on the map labelled “difficult crossing”. The crossing is at Rocky Creek. You can imagine the dynamics of this area when the meltwater is raging down, tumbling the rocks and other debris.

rockycreekbed

Exploring the creek bed, we were able to recognize the different kinds of rock that are lain to rest. Here is a piece of volcanic rock, evidenced by the holes surrounding the surface.

rockycreekrock

Faintly visible in the background are the peaks of Mount Baker and The Black Buttes rising above the horizon. We spent plenty of time bouldering up and down the creek bed.

rockycreekrunning

We ran down the trail on our way back to the trailhead. Just beating the setting sun as it descended behind the hills. This was our first excursion into this southern approach of Mount Baker. We’re looking forward to returning for more exploration on the southern flanks.

Other trail options while you’re out there:

Mt Baker – Schrieber’s Meadow to Railroad Grade

Park Butte Lookout

Scott Paul Trail

USFS Information

Permit Info:
Sno-Park is OPEN.  A Washington State Sno-Park permit is required Nov. 1 through April 30 at Park Butte Trailhead..

Usage:
Medium-Heavy

Restrictions:
Mt. Baker National Recreation Area is open to snowmobiles when snow depth at the trailhead is at least 24 inches. Other motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited.

Camping in the National Recreation Area is allowed only in the designated camps.

No fires allowed in the National Recreation Area.

Camping or being in an area closed for rehabilitation is prohibited.

Passenger vehicles are prohibited from parking in the stock vehicle parking area July 1 – Oct. 31.

Passes:
A valid Recreation Pass is required at Park Butte Trailhead May 1 through Oct. 31.

Information Center:
Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District, Sedro Woolley Office at 360-856-5700, extension 515.

For more ideas to get Out There in Whatcom County, see the full list of Todd’s articles.

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About the Author:

As the co-Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.