Yellow Aster Butte Trail

MODERATE 69 reviews
#2 of 18 trails in

Yellow Aster Butte Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glacier, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.8 miles
2,522 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips





wild flowers



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.

Started hike around 11am, still a bit hazy from the regional wildfires, but overall good visibility. If you havent hiked in a while be patient with yourself and the trail, there are some decent elevation gains. Once you reach the split, stay left to continue on the YAB.

22 days ago

Great trail and magnificent views! Lakes, wildflowers, running falls. No wildlife seen, maybe because of the high number of dogs (all off leash). Minimal snowfields left. Canopy cover, mainly, first 1.75 miles-definitely do early in the day. My husband and I both logged 7.9 miles on our devices.

1 month ago

Just got back from an overnighter at Yellow Aster. Absolutely amazing night for it. Still quite some snow, but it is quickly melting. Just wear your sturdy boots and you'll be fine. Glad we were going down on the Saturday because a lot of people were going up :). Seriously one of the best hikes ever!

1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes.
The Forest Service road is heavily potholed, but readily passable in a car if driven prudently. Departed the trailhead at 8:55 under sunny skies, with only two other vehicles present. The first ~ 1 mile of trail is clear, but then the snowfields take over. Trekking poles were most helpful. About a 1/2 mile past the turnoff for the Tomyhoi Lake Trail, we put on microspikes as the snowfields steepened. At 3.1 miles, the trail crosses a high bench where the results of a fall appeared serious, so we opted to turn around. On the way back down, we turned to see the route that we had taken, and a marmot crossed our descent path. Bugs weren't too bad, but the sun off the snow fields was brutal.

1 month ago

Very snow covered still in early July. Making it extremely difficult to follow the trail but some magnificent views of you stick with it.

6 months ago

Gorgeous spot to camp. Bring warm clothes.

10 months ago

Did the hike on 10/15. Road is snow free, doable by any car, but long-base and low clearance car might scratch the bottom and bumpers in one place.
First half of the way up is muddy and snow free, but second part is wet snow and it is slippery.
Views are gorgeous and definitely worth visiting.

11 months ago

The fall color is coming out. We did the scramble to the true northern summit. Class 2 with some exposure for the last little bit. The trail to the southern false summit is in excellent conditions and is very busy.

11 months ago

Stunning vistas, wildlife, and wild flowers and fall colours... all time favorite.

11 months ago

What an amazing 3 day trip, spectacular views, great weather, wonderful alpine flowers and next to no bugs. It does not get any better than this hike.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Amazing 360 views from the top. And every corner you turn on the way up something new to see

Monday, June 26, 2017

This was much harder of a hike than I expected. The trail was very steep right from the beginning. Views of the mountains were stunning.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Really fun and beautiful!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It was beautiful day for this hike. Glad we went in October. Filled with every fall color imaginable!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

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.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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

Friday, August 12, 2016

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.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

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!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

It was very challenging but it felt so good to complete it!

Monday, July 25, 2016

One of my favorite hikes so far in Washington!

Monday, November 02, 2015

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!! :)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

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:

Friday, October 02, 2015

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.

Monday, July 06, 2015

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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

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.

Friday, September 21, 2012

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.

Friday, September 07, 2012

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.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

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!

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