Railroad Grade Trail

Mileage: 7+ miles RT

Elevation Gain: 2000/6000ft

Map: Green Trail Hamilton No 45

Favorite Eats After Hike: 5 Bs Bakery but we ate at the Skagit River Brewery after this hike. I had a yummy Cranberry Walnut Gorgonzola salad.

My hike:

8/2/15 This trail is a popular climber’s route as well as the trail to Park Butte Lookout.  It started out on the Park Butte trail and the crossing over Sulphur Creek was easy due to how late it was in the season.

Not late enough for blueberries, though, which slowed some of our group down considerably.

At 2.4 miles we turned on the Railroad Grade junction and started up a steep path of stone steps that need some obvious love as people haven’t stayed on them much as they climbed the hillside.

I’m sure the placement and water erosion has not helped either.

Coming out on the moraine that makes up most of the Railroad trail, I was glad that I was comfortable with loose rock and heights. Well, as comfortable as one can be on loose rock on the edge of a steep dropoff.

We stopped a bit past High Camp for lunch and an amazing backdrop of the Easton Glacier.

One could even catch a glimpse of the Puget Sound through a break in the mountains to the west.

On our way back, we paused at the junction for the Scott Paul trail, another option for making it back to the parking lot but the vote was to go back the way we came.

I will be back to go up to the lookout as soon as I can!

Directions: From Burlington (exit 230 on I-5), head east on the North Cascades Highway (SR-20) for 23 miles. After milepost 82, turn left onto Baker Lake Road. Continue 12.3 miles to FR 12, which is marked by a sign at the bridge before the road junction. Turn left on FR 12, continuing 3.7 miles to FR 13. Turn right on FR 13 and proceed 5.3 miles to the TH. The area is large (due to its popularity).

For more hikes along SR 20, click HERE.

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