Yellow Aster Butte Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glacier, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Glacier: Follow the Mt. Baker Hwy. 542 east for 12 miles to Forest Road #3065 (Twin Lakes Road). The road is located on the left hand side of the highway just beyond the Department of Transportation's Shuksan maintenance facility. Turn left on Twin Lakes Road and continue approximately 5 miles to the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead. Parking is plentiful at the trailhead and a toilet is also available.
Really fun and beautiful!
Oct 10, 2016 - Monday - The day started out cold and got colder toward midday. It started to snow, then the wind kicked up, pelting us in the face as we hiked. If it weren't for my hiking companion, I might have turned around because there didn't appear to be any hope of a pay-off at the end of the ascent. We stuck with it and made the summit in 2.75 hrs just as the blue sky appeared directly over our heads. With the promise of sun, we stayed at the top for another 45 minutes (very cold) and were eventually treated with broken clouds and the warmth of the sun. Mt Baker was close, but never shown herself. It must be breathtaking when the clouds reveal the mountain, but we'll have to save that for another trip. 2 hrs down. Plenty of parking.
It was beautiful day for this hike. Glad we went in October. Filled with every fall color imaginable!
Best hike with nice view. Steep at the beginning and end. Finish it in slightly over 5hrs. The road to trail head is not that good, lots of people if you come late.
this is the best hike around bham. make sure to go all the way to the peak for a 360 view of the north cascades
Went on this hike as a birdwatching event, was great. Started on an absolutely blue, severe clear day, and ended up getting drenched when a squall rolled through. PACK RAIN GEAR next time! Hike had some challenging parts, but it goes through a lot of different terrain, and the views can be stunning. Went over some snow fields, which can be a bit treacherous. Use caution and if you have young kids, I would avoid those areas.
Black flies were horrible on the way up (~2pm). This hike was moderate/hard- most elevation gain the first 1/2 of the hike. Make sure you bring plenty of water, as there are clear and sunny spots that were very hot & humid.
The views are amazing, especially at the top!
It was very challenging but it felt so good to complete it!
One of my favorite hikes so far in Washington!
Hiked this Oct 24, 2015. Next year I'll go a month earlier to better enjoy the fall colours! Rough road driving in and easy to miss it! The road is a small side trail off a large operations parking lot (winter snow removal?) take this bumpy side road for 4.3 miles. I drove my honda civic with no issues, just took my time with the bumps and a couple awkward run ins with oncoming traffic as the road is quite narrow. It was a great hike, starts with some switchbacks, after an hour it opens up to give you some views of the mountains around you and you start the easier portion of the hike with less incline. Walking through more meadowy areas. We didn't quite make it to the top because we got a late start. After just over 2 hours we turned around. I would imagine we had about 20-30 minutes ahead of us yet. But the last 30 minutes of our hike gave us great views of Baker, Shuksan and more! We heard from others coming down that the top was similar views to what we were seeing. Bring a windbreaker, it's chilly up there. Going down was quick as usual, about 1 hour. Bathroom - it's there, I was advised to not use it and took their word for it.
I plan to go back next year in September and allow more time for enjoying at the top!! :)
Did this hike a few weeks ago. The colors at this time are amazing (September-October) plus it's huckleberry and chanterelle season! 360 views, scenic the entire time, difficult beginning and end, fall foliage, waterfalls
Video and more details on the hike: http://whereinwashington.com/2015/10/08/yellow-aster-butte-trail/
I uploaded some fall time photos of the trail. They speak for themselves. This hike in fall is off the charts for exciting and a feast for the eyes.
Absolutely beautiful 360 degree views of the surrounding forest and mountains. Great look at Baker! My wife and I loved this hike and will remember it as one of the best hikes we have done.
Great hike - and yes I would agree with others that it is best viewed in the Fall (Sept/Oct) because of the blast of color. Starts out climbing in the woods and then opens up after 1 1/2 miles. Popular camping spot on weekends and you will see some people on the trail. When you get to the point where you can see the tarns below you can either take the trail left down to the tarns or right up the hill (Yellow Aster Butte). I recommend both, but if you are short on time definitely climb the trail up the hill to the right where you can get great 360 views of peaks. If you have a lot of time there is also a trail up Tommyhoi Peak on the north side of the tarns.
Loved it!! So glad I picked it for the first of my three nights packbacking. Read the whole story on my blog, and see all the pics. http://kellbell-whywouldanyonereadthis.blogspot.com/2012/09/im-up-to-three-nights.html
A few of us did YAB this past Wednesday. The weather was sunny and warm. A buddy and I did Tomyhoi Lake a month before and saw about 4 people all day. I was shocked to come across about 50 people during our YAB hike. It was disappointing to see so many people midweek. The hike itself was good. The trail keeps getting easier each time. The first 1.5 - 2 miles sucked the first time and were ok this time, still steep and relentless. The views are unbeatable of Baker, Shuksan, and so many other peaks. It was buggy with mosquitoes at the trailhead, free of bugs until the butte, and then a moderate amount of flies. The colors are changing and in a week or two it should be incredible all around if the smoke from eastern Washington clears. Blueberries are ready.
Wildflowers were in full bloom, and the snow on the trail was relatively easy to cross. Distance is understated and route different than shown on this site. It was a 1.7 mile heart breaking climb of nearly 2000 ft to get to the trail junction leading to the Butte. Then it was 2 miles from there. When the trail finally broke out of the forest, the view was beautiful.
A great Autumn hike. I recommend you go in late Sept. - early Oct. for the colors. Clear days yield more Majestic views of the highest peaks in the North Cascades but from an interesting angle than many other trails along Mt. Baker HGWY. As you reach the tree line approaching the butte, you see large fields of wild blue berries along the right slope. I have been lucky enough to sit and watch Black Bears feed for hours on this slope. Bring some binoculars and watch out for blind corners as you run a very high risk of coming face to face with a big black berry eater!