Church Mountain Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is best used from June until October.
See a vast panorama of North Cascades mountains, including Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Damfino Lakes, Border Line peaks, Goat mountain and Skyline ridge.
Hike is strenuous but worth it. I headed up early morning and summit was surrounded by fog, I'm sure the views are awesome when you can see them. I'll definitely do this one again later on in the morning.
Strenuous but rewarding.
Great! The directions accounted for 4 miles. So technically it was about 8.5 miles roundtrip. I did it in 5 1/2hrs with a very long break at the meadows taking pics and enjoying lunch with the ladybugs at the peak. The last bit of the hill is not as bad as I thought it would be. Perfect day to a great hike. Beautiful views in the meadows and 360 view at the top.
FR3040 is a one lane unpaved mountain access road where you hope not to meet any cars coming the other way; I only encountered a couple of pot holes. Almost any passenger car should be able to make it up the road OK.
The outhouse at the trail head looks (and smells) like it's brand new.
The trail is in excellent condition and easy to follow. Elevation gain is constant. There is only one flat spot shortly after you enter the meadows, but otherwise you're hiking up the side of the mountain at a fairly consistent grade.
If you have a water filter there are two places to get water on the hike. The first water is just before you reach the meadows there is a small creek running through the woods, the second (and best) place to get water is at Deer Horn Creek just after you enter the meadows.
The first part of the hike is a trudge up a bunch of switchbacks through the woods, but then you enter beautiful alpine meadows where the scenery and the views of the surrounding peaks are spectacular.
You know you're almost to the top when you see the ruins of what used to be a lookout tower. The last part of the hike is a short scramble up some rocks to the summit. If you're afraid of heights you might not like that part, but most people should be OK.
The hike is fairly steep and if you're out of shape or hiking on a hot day it can kick your butt. There is no shade in the meadows, so you may wish to bring sunglasses and sunscreen if it's a sunny day.
Stunningly gorgeous. Like right out of a storybook. Definitely a challenging trail.
By far my most breath-taking summit yet. I loved this hike. There was so much to look at all the way up. There was quite a lot of snow on the back part of the meadow and if there had not been hiker tracks before ours, we wouldn't have been able to know where to go. We got a late start (12:20) and didn't expect to summit due to a ranger at the station saying there was probably too much snow and that we would need snow gear to get past the meadow. We talked to a couple of lady hikers appearing to be in their 50s who were on their way down and had made the summit, so it was game on. (It was July, so we had plenty of daylight.) After getting through the snow - my least favorite part - we summitted right about 5 pm and stayed until about 6 and then headed down and were back to the car by 7:30 ish. The summit took my breath away! Do this hike!
If you like step masters and bugs this is the hike for you! Hard. Really hard, but if you decide to go up go all the way up to the tippy top. If you don't find a cable to help climb up rocks you have not gone far enough. Keep going! It is well worth it. Never doing it again, but glad I did it :)
I have been here twice and both times I was caught in intense lightning storms that came from beautiful sunny skies in seconds. Temperature drops of 30+ degrees with freezing rain and the rest!
The fishing is VERY good here as it is an extremely unlikely place and very difficult to lug any type of gear in to. Especially a float tube, fins, waders, rod & reel, and the rest of it. Bring a rain shell and some seriously good capilene and fleece layers!!!! If you like to catch untouched fish in places most people wouldn't think to go (like I do) then its worth the risk.