Yellow Aster Butte Trail

Boundary, Washington 98295

Yellow Aster Butte Trail

Yellow Aster Butte Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The focus of this book is wildflowers, but this hike is also spectacular in late summer or early fall when autumn colors appear and berries ripen. On a clear day the sky is deep blue, Mount Baker is at its best, and the meadows of Yellow Aster Butte are golden and dreamy.

As for the flowers, there really aren’t any yellow asters—the “yellow asters” are daisies. In addition to lots of daisies look for purple asters, Indian paintbrush, fireweed, bistort, penstemon, mertensia, rosy spirea, lupine, and anemone. Go midweek if possible to avoid human bottlenecks on this popular trail."

More Yellow Aster Butte Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Dog Hikes Washington (Falcon Guides)
Lisa Wogan
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"You’ll see grand views and colorful flowers from every step of this trail, but the scenery peaks at the blueberry-covered summit. From here your eyes can wander the stunning naked cliffs of the American and Canadian Border Peaks, the glassy tarns in the meadow beneath the butte, or the icy masses of Mounts Baker and Shuksan. Thanks to its gentle grade and constant sensory stimulation, the trail to Yellow Aster Butte is one of the most pleasant hikes in the North Cascades." Read more
Washington Scrambles - 2nd Edition (The Mountaineers Books)
Peggy Goldman
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"Yellow Aster Butte is a favorite scramble in the late season, when the hills are luminous with the brazen hues of autumn and you can graze on ripe huckleberries. The trip is relatively easy, with small tarns and lakelets dotting the landscape. Tomyhoi Peak, American Border Peak, and Mount Larrabee dominate the foreground while formidable Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan provide the background. In summer, you can follow a trail almost to the summit, making for a simple trip when time is short or the party is less experienced." Read more
A FalconGuide to Mount Baker - Mount Shuksan Area (Falcon Guides)
Mike McQuaide
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"This trailhead accesses two trails that probably couldn’t be more different. Like it sounds, Yellow Aster Butte is a high rocky outcrop affording 360- degree manna-from-heaven mountain views and flanked by wildflower meadows liberally sprinkled with yellow asters (which aren’t actually asters but rather daisies). Tomyhoi Lake, on the other hand, is at the bottom of a wooded valley between two mountains. If you’re a mountain-vista lover, head for Yellow Aster Butte; if you want to fish or camp by a peaceful mountain lake, head for Tomyhoi Lake." Read more
Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington (Falcon Guides)
Peter Stekel
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"The usual draw for Yellow Aster Butte are views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan and, of course, the butte’s namesake flowers (actually, a species of Erigeron). But Yellow Aster Butte’s complex of sedimentary and volcanic rock, interspersed with blocks of metamorphic and ultramafic (serpentine) rocks, contribute to an incredible diversity of fern species. In one truly remarkable area about 100 yards in diameter, called the “Fern Garden,” can be found over thirty species of ferns!" Read more
"You’ll see grand views and colorful flowers from every step of this trail, but the scenery peaks at the blueberry-covered summit. From here your eyes can wander the stunning naked cliffs of the American and Canadian Border Peaks, the glassy tarns in the meadow beneath the butte, or the icy masses of Mounts Baker and Shuksan. Thanks to its gentle grade and constant sensory stimulation, the trail to Yellow Aster Butte is one of the most pleasant hikes in the North Cascades." Read more
Day Hiking: North Cascades (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Find supreme wildflower gardens and a high-country plateau speckled with shimmering tarns—but that’s not all. Spectacular alpine vistas abound too—of Baker, Shuksan, and all those rugged and craggy peaks straddling the 49th parallel. Yellow Aster Butte may be a misnomer (those yellow-petaled delights are actually daisies), but you definitely don’t want to miss hiking here. Sharing a start with the Tomyhoi Lake Trail, begin on a steep course alternating between cool old-growth forest and warm brushy avalanche slopes. Views out to Goat Mountain and big ol’ Baker aren’t bad from the brushy openings. Shortly after entering the Mount Baker Wilderness, the grade thankfully eases up. The tread remains excellent, the result of a lot of volunteer work over the years on this heavily traveled trail." Read more

Yellow Aster Butte Trail Reviews

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8/13/2007
This trail is a good mix of forest and open meadow with a good payoff of a good all round view of the North Cascades from the top including Baker ( no close glacier views however) . No deep streams to worry about. A significant portion of the 2400 foot rise occurs immediately from the trail head through the forest and so there is little time to warm up! This year in mid August the intermediate bowl below the final plateau below the butte was snow covered and the flowers were late( previous year in full bloom and no snow above)Care needed on the bowl as the snow melts especially at the edges where the snow is melting below creating weak edges. The final 200-300 foot to the summit is a sharp steep rise on grass - could be slippy in rain . On the return the main issue is the steep bottom trail through the woods when the knees are getting sore(though good shade from hot sun in the late afternoon . A good work out - not a gentle stroll. Takes about 2.5 hours up and 2 hours down. Road up to trail head ok even for rental cars. Road above this trail-head to the Winchester mountain trail-head really required 4 wheel drive high SUV's
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8/15/2006
Trailhead is 12 miles past Glacier Center , contrary to the "just beyond" description in the Trail Guide. It is immediately past the WADOT facility. Not much room at the trailhead- have to turn around and park alongside the logging trail that brought you there. But there are swarms of blackflies: luckily they fall away as soon as you get moving. Gain 1600 ft in the first mile plus, then the views start. Still plenty of wildflowers at August 13 06: paintbrush in groups the most colorful. If you come back south via SR 9 somewhere around VanZandt there,s a general store with great icecream: choc mint chip and expresso explosion stood out
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Trail Information

Boundary
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
8
Distance
2,200 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Hikable: July through October, Best flowers: July through August
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Wildflowers
Features
Glacier Public Service Center
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 14 Mount Shuksan
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018