At 7.5 miles roundtrip, it's best to get an early start on this trail during the waning daylight hours of late fall. The trail begins with relatively steep switchbacks, alternating between a shoulder of root-ridden old growth forest and clear avalanche slope. Snow was patchy here, mostly a slush of mud on the trail itself. At the 1-mile mark, we came to the first snow filled clearing, glittering ice crystals and frozen streams. From here, snow was our constant companion, but in the summer and early fall, these meadows are full of berry bushes and wildflowers.
At 1.5 miles, the trail comes to a signed junction, the right fork leading to Tomyhoi Lake. Stay left for Yellow Aster Butte, continuing on the snowy catwalk along slopes that a few weeks prior hosted a bountiful crop of wild huckleberries. Looking out across the basin here, Mounts Shuksan and Baker come into view. The softened light of fall pasteled the colors of these snow covered sentinels, a pallet of ice blue and rose-gold.
Washington Trails Association (WTA)