Yellow Aster Butte & Tomyhoi Lakes Basin, WA

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May 3, 2018
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Don't have a video for this one. The wife and I took quick day trip up (despite our really late start in the day) to the Yellow Aster Butte area in Mount Baker Wilderness. Thanks to watching WINDY.TV closely we were able to thread the needle with weather. A pretty reliable cloud cover predictor.

The trail to Yellow Aster Butte is a series of switchbacks from TH to the Butte @ 3.4 miles and about ~2600 foot elevation gain. The road to the Butte TH wasn't as rough as most people made it out to be. It does get bad if you want to go up further to the Twin Lakes area though. I wasn't too impressed with the hike until the last .5 miles were we rounded the corner into the Tomyhoi Lakes Basin area. Then my jaw dropped, I knew further up it would be beautiful but I just wasn't expecting it on that day in particular. Larabee, American Border Peak, Tomyhoi and Canadian Border Peak towered over the lakes basin with Shuksan toward the rear with a fresh coat of new season snow on it.

We tried to go summit Tomyhoi but heavy cloud cover came in and we ran out of time & daylight as Lacey needed to be back home at a decent time to get ready to start her new job the following day. We saw about 15 people and 5 Ptarmigans on our way up.




The fall colors slowly coming into fruition. Another few weeks and the larches will join in. This is at the base of Yellow Aster Butte looking toward Welcome Pass




First glimpse of the Lakes Basin and about to round the corner into the WOW-factor I mentioned above.




Rounded the corner and (left to right) Tomyhoi, Canadian Border Peak and American Border Peak vibrantly assault my eyes with their beauty. With the heavy cloud cover I was not expecting this view today.




Next we dropped down into the Basin and headed for Tomyhoi despite being low on daylight/time. American Border Peak near one of the "lakes".



Clouds cleared off American Border Peak for a few minutes to show a fresh sprinkle of snow on it.




We started to ascend up Tomyhoi, this is past the 3.4 Mile / 2600 foot gain to Yellow Aster Butte. I didn't have my GPS so I don't know how much extra we did. It didn't matter though because it was very beautiful. Looking down into the valley we could see Tomyhoi Lake, almost drying out from the hot summer.



We also made new friends!



Shuksan looking menacing with its fresh snow.

Angry clouds started to come in and we decided to head back to the car. We only had 2 hours of daylight left anyhow.


Headed home.





Was a really fun hike and I definitely want to turn it into an over-nighter at some point in the future! Maybe next time I'll bring the truck so we can visit the Twin Lakes area further up the road.
 

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Titans

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Aug 18, 2018
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Wow....Beautiful !!!! Thanks to you I'm pinning all these new places on Google map :)
Thanks for sharing- gorgeous photos.
 

Miya

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Love the colors coming in.
Thanks for sharing! I don't know what those birds are, but they sure are cute!
 

Ugly

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Very good. Love that shot of the low clouds in b&w and that shot looking down to Tomyhoi lake.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Thise photos blow my mind. I want to make it out to Washington so bad. I almost applied for a job in Everett earlier this month... 2-3 hours from Olympic, North Cascades, and Ranier. Just not the right timing though yet. Nice job on the photography.. just stunning!
 

Ben

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I want to make it out to Washington so bad. I almost applied for a job in Everett earlier this month... 2-3 hours from Olympic, North Cascades, and Ranier. Just not the right timing though yet.
Everett is the New Jersey of the Northwest.
 
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May 3, 2018
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Thise photos blow my mind. I want to make it out to Washington so bad. I almost applied for a job in Everett earlier this month... 2-3 hours from Olympic, North Cascades, and Ranier. Just not the right timing though yet. Nice job on the photography.. just stunning!
Thanks! I live in Lake Stevens (5 minutes from Everett). As @Ben said certain parts of Everett can be janky but other parts are good/alright. The traffic in the state sucks (economy is in massive boom) and it's kind of expensive (rent for what you get sucks) but you get every biosphere to hike in and the snow usually stays in the mountains during the winter. I have even backpacked several times along the Olympic coast in january, devoid of crowds with 40-50 degree weather. I came here from Michigan and I've been to a lot of states and Washington is easily my favorite (hence why I live here now despite the cost, haha)



EDIT: also im going to organize a Backcountrypost backpacking trip in Washington for next summer. I'll post it sometime this winter with plans/ect
 

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Ben

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How’s that?
Thanks! I live in Lake Stevens (5 minutes from Everett). As @Ben said certain parts of Everett can be janky but other parts are good/alright. The traffic in the state sucks (economy is in massive boom) and it's kind of expensive (rent for what you get sucks) but you get every biosphere to hike in and the snow usually stays in the mountains during the winter. I have even backpacked several times along the Olympic coast in january, devoid of crowds with 40-50 degree weather. I came here from Michigan and I've been to a lot of states and Washington is easily my favorite (hence why I live here now despite the cost, haha)
I worked with a guy from Lake Stevens, i've heard good things. I only ever had reason to visit Everett once while i was living in Olympia and Seattle, and i just wasn't impressed. Probably partly due to a previous bias from having to drive through there before. Just gave the impression of the wrong kind of crowded, makes me think of the way you describe New Jersey a little John. Really no where in Western Washington is that bad though.
 

TractorDoc

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Aug 21, 2018
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Wow to your photographs @NorthwestWanderer !

The wife and I have discussed potential states/regions to move to "someday" -- Washington is definitely on the list. It would require quite a lot of downsizing and reprioritizing, but the older I get the more appealing that becomes.

Someday. . .
 

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