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Sauk Mountain hike

August 2, 2014 Leave a comment

The Sauk Mountain hike is recognized as one of the most scenic in the NorthWest. But you have to endure a rough ride to get to the trail head, followed by a strenuous climb. But this time of the year the wild flowers are in bloom, the mountains still have snow caps, and the scenery is just gorgeous.

The “road” to the trail head is gravel washboard with huge potholes. It is narrow, has big drop-offs, and many switchbacks. Fortunately, we didn’t meet much traffic either way. And when you see the trail itself you do a bit of a double take… so steep! But watch your footing… the trail is narrow and the way down long!

The hike isn’t terribly long at 4.2 miles, but it gains 1,200 feet in the first 2 miles. But it is doable (even for us old farts) and the views from the top as well as along the trail are spectacular. On the way up there is a closeup view of Mount Baker, and at the top Mount Rainer is visible. Visibility was somewhat reduced from the forest fires but still quite amazing.

Check the "road" on the GPS....

Check the “road” on the GPS….

Can you spot the trail, heading all the way to the top?

Can you spot the trail, heading all the way to the top?

A really cute out house

A really cute out house

View from the top

View from the top

From half way up.  See our car far below?

From half way up. See our car far below?

A view of Mt. Baker

A view of Mt. Baker

Wild flower

Wild flower

Wild thistle

Wild thistle

Wildflower

Wildflower

Some of the scenery along the trail

Some of the scenery along the trail

Heading back

Heading back

Snow!

Snow!

Romola at the top

Romola at the top

More snow

More snow

Sauk Lake

Sauk Lake

Looking north

Looking north

Looking south

Looking south

A spectacular drive

Washington Highway 542 runs 57 miles from Bellingham to the ski areas on Mt. Baker.  Along the way, there are spectacular views of the mountain as well as forests, rivers, and waterfalls.

Yesterday, we decided that this would be a good time to make this drive.  So did many others, as this was the first sunny weekend in a LONG time!  On the way down we had a nice lunch at a local bar/food place, and shared it with Harley riders, cyclists, as well as car driven tourists.

On the road, Mt. Baker looms in the distance

Art on display: man-made vs. nature-made

Nooksack falls, a pleasant diversion on the way up

A view upstream from the falls

Roadside view

Peak of Mt. Baker, from the ski area

The lake at the end of Highway 542

... and looking a bit more to the east.

 

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