Hike up to the Sandy Camp area for overnight and Mount Baker summit bid. The trail starts out soft and sandy and gradually gets rocky towards the river. Look for two pink ribbons marking the trail entrances on both sides of the river and be sure to use the metal bridge for crossing the river. Be mindful of the rocky trail.
Shortly after crossing the river, the trail begins to switch back up – however, the effort is worth it as blueberries (or Black Huckleberries or Bilberries) are in full effect. Once you gain the elevation of the switchbacks and pass the junction with the Scott Paul Trail, the high meadows are dense with bushes full of berries. Bring containers, or simply enjoy as a snack while hiking. Hiking past Railroad Camp and gaining the ridge, we encountered many Marmots. Some were even whistling while sitting on the large glacier boulders along the ridge. The meadows to the left rival any of those on Rainier, and once you gain the altitude of the camp, the Twin Sisters Peaks come into full view, and you can even spy the lookout at Park Butte to the right.
I would highly recommend this trail and trip for anyone seeking a great overnight or weekend campsite. The trail-up is not too difficult. The meadows along the way are beautiful. The Railroad Grade is a unique ridge trail bordering a moraine showing the massive glacier recession – you will definitely see Marmots, the upper camp has a massive rocky ridge and area to explore with interesting rock formations, snowfields, and small tarns, access to a glacier with many varied formations (use caution and be skilled in glacier travel prior to stepping onto any part of the glacier), and a light pollution-free sky for stargazing. Overall one of my favorite nights out in our wilderness.
Link to Google photo album:
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