Scott Paul Trail & Park Butte

Hike from Schreibers Meadow through alpine meadows to a lookout with panoramic views to Mount Baker and beyond can be done as an 7.5-mile moderate out and back or 8-mile loop day hike with 2,200 and 2,000 feet of elevation gain, respectively, or as a 15-mile moderate backpack with up to 3,200 feet elevation gain and some great side trip opportunities.

getting there

Take I-5 to just north of Mount Vernon and drive east on SR-20 (North Cascades Highway) and turn left on Baker Lake Road. Continue 12.5 miles to just past the Rocky Creek Bridge, turn left onto Forest Road 12. Go 3.5 miles to Sulfur Creek Road (Forest Road 13). Turn right and follow it 6 miles to its end at the Park Butte Trailhead (3,360 ft).

The Park Butte Trail  is open to stock, Aug 1  to Oct 31. Please do not park passenger vehicles or gear trailers in the stock vehicle parking area.

on the trail

For a day hike, hike approximately 4 miles from the trailhead to the Park Butte lookout, then retrace your steps to the trailhead (7.5 miles round trip with 2,200 feet of elevation gain) or turn left onto the Scott Paul Trail 1.9 mi from the trailhead and loop clockwise back to the trailhead (8 mi loop with 2,000 feet of elevation gain).  For a backpack, camps are available at 3 miles at Cathedral Camp (hike up to the lookout in the afternoon), and 2-5 miles beyond on the Railroad Grade trail or further up the moraine with great chances for wandering to look over the Easton and Deming Glaciers.  Return via the Park Butte trail or loop back on the Scott Paul Trail.

side trips

  • Railroad Grade Trail to view the Easton and Deming glaciers
  • Off-trail to Squak Glacier "Crag View"


  • This trail can be quite crowded on weekends. 
  • There is great blueberry picking in September!
  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft
  • 5,450 ft
  • Green Trails Mount Baker Wilderness Climbing No. 13SX
  • Green Trails Hamilton No. 45

Upcoming Activities

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Scott Paul Trail & Park Butte

Backpacking Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course
This B3 Backpack will explore the Park Butte area/lookout, Railroad Grade lateral moraine, Meadow Point,
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Fri, Jul 30, 2021 - Sun, Aug 1, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
1 participant
Registration closes Jul 28
Foothills Branch

CHS 1 Hike - Scott Paul-Park Butte Loop

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph)
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Wed, Aug 4, 2021
No Prerequisites
1 participant
Registration closes Aug 2
Seattle Branch

CHS 2 Hike - Scott Paul Trail & Park Butte

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
A loop hike through alpine meadows to a lookout with panoramic views of Mt Baker
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Thu, Aug 5, 2021
No Prerequisites
4 participants
Registration closes Aug 3
Seattle Branch

Seattle MAC - Backpacking Trip - Scott Paul Trail & Park Butte

Youth Youth activity: Mountaineers Adventure Club
MAC members go on a multiday backpack trip somewhere in Washington. This trip has prerequisites.
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Sat, Aug 14, 2021 - Sun, Aug 15, 2021
No Prerequisites
3 participants 0 instructors 1 chaperone
Registration closes Aug 12
Seattle Branch
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Scott Paul Trail
  • Scott Paul-Park Butte Loop
  • Scott Paul and Park Butte Loop
  • Scott Paul Loop Trail
  • Park Butte

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