Hiking Cougar Divide & Chowder Ridge



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September 15, 2014. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Whatcom County, Washington.

I started off with the intent to summit Hadley Peak, but had to settle for getting most of the way up Chowder Ridge before turning around, due to not being properly equipped to cross treacherous snow.

But even just to the end of Cougar Divide is a great hike. The trail is a bit rough because it’s not maintained by the Forest Service, but not too bad.

To get here head east on Mount Baker Highway from Bellingham, then turn off on Wells Creek Road, the road to Nooksack Falls. Drive all the way to the end, nearly 13 miles (go left at the fork about 12 miles up). Like the trail, the road is rough, and not maintained after crossing Wells Creek 6 miles in. Not recommended for low-clearance vehicles.

Yellow Aster Butte



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September 20, 2014. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Whatcom County, Washington.

Trailhead is on Twin Lakes Road about 4 miles off of Mount Baker Highway.

Nice hike on a very popular trail, leading to a great viewpoint or further on to an area with lots of tarns and campsites or up to Tomyhoi Peak.

It’s a bit over 3 miles and about 2500 feet of elevation gain one-way to the viewpoint on the butte.

Hiking Church Mountain



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August 18, 2012. Whatcom County, Washington.

One of the first trails off of Mount Baker Highway. A steep climb through lush forest leads to a long meadow and then to a former fire lookout site at 6100 feet elevation.

Roundtrip is about 8.5 miles and the elevation gain is 3750 feet.