Park Butte Lookout Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews
#5 of 85 trails in

Park Butte Lookout Trail is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Concrete, Washington that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.2 miles
2020 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




horseback riding

nature trips






wild flowers

bridge out


Enjoy incredible views of Mt. Baker and its glaciers throughout the length of this trail. Start in the Mt. Baker National Recreation Area and quickly enter the lush Schriebers Meadow. The Scott Paul Trail junction is about 100 feet from the trailhead on the right. Continue past the junction and wander through waist-high huckleberries and the heather of Schriebers Meadow. This trail section has views of Survey Point to the east and is a great two-mile round trip for families. Next you will reach Rocky Creek and a challenging crossing during periods of heavy runoff. After the first mile climb and switchback through the forest, reaching the second junction with Scott Paul Trail 603.1. Stay left at the junction to continue along Park Butte Trail to Morovitz Meadows. The expansive views offered at the open meadows make this a popular rest spot. At the next junction stay left to go to the Park Butte Lookout. Cathedral Camp is near the next trail junction. Stay left at this junction for Park Butte. The trail levels out some and passes above picturesque Pocket Lake on the left. The last half-mile climbs steeply to the lookout at 5,400 feet elevation and enters the Mt. Baker Wilderness.

22 hours ago

road to parking lot still snowed under for about a mile.
snow up til you hit the trees and climb at which point it gets patchy, but once out of the trees there is snow underfoot the whole way. snow is consolidated though. went about 3/4 of the way, you could make it to the top but weather was crap so decided to head back for a clear day attempt!

1 month ago

Attempted May 21, with overnight gear as we planned to spend the night up top. Walked 1.2 miles to trailhead as the road was blocked by snow. Entire trail is under snow. Kept going for several more miles but things got too dicey after the trail splits off from the main one going to Baker. There were absolutely no visible trail markers so we were relying entirely on GPS and a map on our phones. Not even a marker for the trailhead, which is beside the washrooms. Tried to follow the trail approximately, up the very steep incline covered in snow. No signs of the summer trail were visible due to the snow and lack of markers, so we were guessing and bushwhacking our way up and down the slope. Dicey with our regular winter traction devices and I think it would be too steep going downhill with snowshoes. Maybe proper mountaineering crampons with inch long spikes would work. Eventually turned around due to slow pace and unfamiliarity with the trail. I’d recommend going this early in the season only if you’ve done the trail before, and better yet, if you’ve done it in winter or you have winter backcountry experience, and armed with excellent traction and a good GPS and detailed trail map. I’d love to try this again in the summer.

1 month ago

May 5. Road snowed out 3 miles from trailhead. Tried to hike the extra distance but turned around 4 miles in. Might be able to do it with snowshoes if you start early morning. Lots of snowmobiles.

8 months ago

Beautiful hike, but definitely bring micro spikes if you have them for the top! There are about 2-3 inches 4800 ft +.

8 months ago

Such a beautiful hike! So lucky to live in the PNW and have this in our backyard. There was quite a bit of snow at the top, so probably not many days left to do this hike this year.

9 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. The meadow and the views of Shuksan are breathtaking. Bring lots of water and be prepared for a 90% uphill slog. Worth it.

9 months ago

Diverse hike and amazing views. My favorite trail in WA so far - truly enchanting.

Camped about a mile down from the lookout. Plenty of berries along the trail. Will be sure to return.

9 months ago

Drive up was beautiful. Deep slushy thigh-deep snow prevented any hiking. All upper trails in same condition.

Monday, May 29, 2017

4 stars just for today. We went for hike today 5/28/2017 and the trail was covered deep in snow even before we reached the actual parking spot. Had to park a mile out on the gravel road. We hiked a bit but had to turn back. We will try again maybe mid summer or end.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Moderate hike with spectacular views! Can't wait to go back this summer!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Awesome hike!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wonderful views with relatively small effort. The grade was not overly steep and somewhat short. Almost seems like less than 7 miles. We were extremely impressed with the scenery! This is a must do hike.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The views are spectacular. The trail was in great shape. We did the hike on a Monday and there was very little traffic.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Now one of my favorites

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great views, the trail was well maintained. Not too many bugs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This is one of my favorite trails because of the scenery. It took about 2-2.5 hours to get to the lookout and we stayed there for a while soaking in the sights. Dogs are allowed off leash as long as they are under voice control and don't bother the wildlife. Bring snacks for the top!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

This is a really great hike. We went to Railroad Grade. Probably easier than going to the lookout tower. Took us 2.5 hours because of our age.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Fabulous hike! This was my first time there. We stopped a few times to rest and we got there in 2hrs. We were the first there so we staked claim on staying overnight! We weathered a hail/thunder/lightning storm, saw the stars on a crystal clear night, and woke before sunrise to head back down. Next time we plan to incorporate a hike around Cathedral Crag, down Railroad Grade, and back on the Scott Paul Trail. Overall, this has been one of my favorite hikes on either Baker or Rainier!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Beautiful hike into the Mt Baker area! There are tough parts of the hike near the end but overall it is pretty medium in difficulty. It took us 6 hours but we took lots of breaks and sight seeing. Saw one mountain goat about 2 miles in, across the valley on a rock face. The clouds never fully lifted off Baker once we were there but it was good enough to see the peak occasionally and briefly. Highly recommend this one! It was beautiful and very diverse in the landscapes you hike through.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Sunday, August 09, 2015

Great hike well maintained trail. Great views during entire hike, upper Meadow is an view when you break around bend.
Thank you work crews great trail because of you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

We first hiked to Park Butte Lookout along the standard trail. However, on the way back we took a short detour to a great lunch spot that would have had an awesome view of Mt Baker had it been a clear day. I will attach a photo from a clear day last year. This year, we had to settle with seeing some of the glaciers sticking out below the clouds. Instead of going straight back to the trailhead, we turned left and hiked the Scott Paul Trail back. This made the whole hike a 13.2 mile loop. The Scott Paul trail had many views of Mt Baker from different perspectives and awesome forest trail sections. We had three water crossings. There were bridges across the first two, but the third one was wide and you had to find your way across on rocks. Would have been more difficult if we had hiked earlier in the year when the water was higher. On a clear day it would have been well worth the extra milage. A lot of people were on the Park Butte trail, but we only saw two others on the Scott Paul trail. There was a volunteer work crew doing maintenance on the Lookout. They are doing a great job!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

One of the best hikes I've been to so far!!
it's a good workout to the top but once you get to the top its worth it. you can feel the elevation changing once you are half way up so prepare yourselves. take your time and take it easy. overall I give it a 9/10

Monday, September 16, 2013

Beautiful hike offering close up views of Mt Baker to the north and the Twin Sister range to the south. The trail starts out very flat over several boardwalks and is in very good condition. After the second creek crossing the trail starts to climb. It is a popular camping area with several connecting trails. I started at 6am in order to beat the crowd and the heat. I only saw two other people and had the lookout tower to myself. I probably passed over 50 people on the way back though and by the time I made it back to the parking lot there were well over 50 cars. So the earlier you start the less crowded it will be. There are a handful of tarns to the left of the trail less than a 1/2 mile from the lookout tower and just before the Twin Sister range comes into view and they offer great reflections of Baker. I also headed up the Railroad Grade trail on the way back and made it to the base of the glaciers where I could see a handful of climbers on the way to the summit of Baker.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This trail is worth it. Doesn't take long to get to from Concrete. Plenty of parking with a bathroom facility at the start of the trail & a very primitive bathroom at the end of the trail. Our app said it was actually 8 miles rather than 7. Really epic views. A heavily used trail but so large it's easy to stay out of sight of others. Lots of blueberries along the way. Stunning views of Mt. Baker and surrounding mountains. Some really steep grades but doable. Neat river crossing. Really cool lookout at the end. Thankfully, hardly any bugs when we did it. Lots of varied scenery. The overview of this hike should be changed. Not sure why it says March to June. We did this in mid September.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hiked yesterday with family. Lower fine with a few spots snow and rocks and water crossings. Upper trail snow from a few inches to 4-5 inches. Great views of surrounding mountains. Scott Paul trail branch had deep snow with poor access. We tried but backed up to come down park butte. Great day to be out!!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Great hike for any adventurer. Went up Aug 26 and Sep 1, 2011. Great hike both days. First day was bright and sunny. Second was cloudy and wet. Lots of snow in the meadows although much had melted away in a weeks time. Lots of rocks and roots on the trail. Elevation gain was slight at first and increased greatly through the hike. If you're looking for a good reward at the top, this tis the trail you're looking for.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

First of all the trail isn't in Darrington. It's near Baker Lake off the Baker Lake Highway.

Awesome hike, great views on a clear day, breathtaking view of Mount Baker. Lots of rocks, roots and incline. Snow was in the upper meadows this year. Made the hike all the more interesting. Great prize at the end!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Like others have said, views are unsurpassed. The trail itself is exceptional in it's variety, offering 1-2 night camping if desired and views of Baker that are like none other. The combination of snowy meadows mixed with summer creeks and amazing old growth forest make this hike a one of a kind. -ZG, 2011

2 days ago

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