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Church Mountain Trail

Difficult

Trail

8.6 mile 13.9 kilometer out and back
60% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,639' 1,109 m
Descent: -3,640' -1,109 m
High: 5,980' 1,823 m
Low: 2,370' 722 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Anne Pelton

This is a steep 4.4-mile (one-way) trail with amazing views of Shuksan, Baker, meadow and lakes.

Anne Pelton

Features Lake · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Check Glacier Information for road and trail conditions. In 2017, there were reports of trees down across the road and snow in the meadow through June. The parking lot is somewhat small and fills in the mornings on nice weekends.

Overview

This trail starts out steep with lots of switchbacks through the trees, then opens up at three miles to a beautiful meadow with creeks, wildflowers, amazing views of Shuksan and Baker on a clear day. Continue up above the trees for even better views of the mountains and Kidney lakes on the opposite side.

Need to Know

Small creek crossing on the road to trailhead. Parking lot only holds about 30 cars and can fill quickly on nice weekends.

Description

Be advised that there is a narrow one-lane road that leads up to the trailhead. There is also a small creek crossing near the top of the road, so a vehicle with high clearance is recommended. The parking lot located at the trailhead holds approximately 25 cars. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

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.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers galore (and unfortunately bugs).

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#2346

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
60%
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Run Rankings

#133

in Washington

#2,346

Overall
20 Views Last Month
2,002 Since Jul 17, 2017
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Photos

Wildflowers from the meadow
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA
Wildflowers (and plenty of bugs)
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA
Mt Baker (in the clouds), wildflowers and nice trail through the meadow
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA
Wide open meadow with the peak in view
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA
Narrow part up near the top, tricky to pass people on this section.
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA
Mt Shuksan from the meadow
Jul 17, 2017 near Peacefu…, WA

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