Church Mountain Trail
ElevationAscent: 3,639' 1,109 m
Descent: -3,640' -1,109 m
High: 5,980' 1,823 m
Low: 2,370' 722 m
GradeAvg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)
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“This is a steep 4.4-mile (one-way) trail with amazing views of Shuksan, Baker, meadow and lakes.”— Anne Pelton
The trail starts with a moderate grade through the trees. After about a 1/2 mile, the grade picks up. For the first three miles it is a pretty steady uphill climb on many switchbacks. You are in the trees/shade which is very nice on warmer days. The trail is somewhat narrow, using poles I had one consistently on the uphill slope.
After three miles, there is a small creek crossing, but this is quite easy and only a few feet wide. Then you are welcomed to a large meadow. Everything opens up and depending on season there will be lots of wildflowers. With some luck, turn left and look through the trees for views of Mt Shuksan and Mt Baker. The trail is fairly flat here for a bit, which makes it a prime location to take in the views.
Cross a larger creek (several feet wide, few inches deep, some slippery rocks) and continue around the meadow. You'll start climbing again and the views just keep getting better and better. Near the top, you'll have a nice view above the trees of nearby mountains. This is a good stopping point, or continue up the last scramble to the peak.
There are metal cables for holding on as the trail gets quite narrow and rocky with some loose gravel/dirt. At the top, you can see Kidney lakes on the other side, panoramic views of the mountains and the meadow below.
Once you've taken in the view, return the way that you came to reach the trailhead and your vehicle.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Office