Church Mountain Lookout / 教堂山瞭望處

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Church Mountain Lookout was our stopping point. I couldn’t find much info on the actual summit before the trip. But I knew that with two dogs, it wouldn’t be wise to attempt it. The weather also became more dire later in the day.

Church Mountain Lookout at last
Church Mountain Lookout at last

See more trip photos here.

Church Mountain Lookout at a Glance

Access: NF-3060
Round Trip: 8 miles
Elevation Range: 2000′-5922′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

This was the farthest north I have ever driven to a trailhead. Plus, it was also the closest I’ve been to the Canadian border! But it was also exciting to see the other side than anything.

Without the snow, it would be a walk in the park. But even with the fresh powder, the scramble part still felt straightforward. Even without the GPS device, it didn’t involve much route finding.

See more trip photos here.

Dearborn Creek Basin

We started seeing snow 3500′. But I held off on putting on microspikes for another thousand feet or so. Soon, the trail soon faded right as we went out into the clearing.

The basin had a ton of snow. But we could still make out the summer trail by the slight indentation in the couple of feet of powder. So that allowed us to stay on track.

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Church Mountain Lookout

Later the mostly sunny weather turned cloudy. So we had hit-or-miss views across the Nooksack River Valley. We went through a couple of long, thigh-burning switchbacks. Then I put on snowshoes at 5700′ for the final 400 feet.

Views to the east and the north were okay. But the scenery to the south was very much nonexistent. So it was disappointing that Mount Baker was still nowhere in sight. Some Canadian peaks were visible albeit a bit hazy.

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Outro

It was too cold. So we stayed at the lookout for an hour. At the same time, I was hoping for the stubborn clouds to move away. But, of course, that never happemed. Then we left right afterward.

Back in the basin, Mount Baker and the southern peaks made a cameo finally. So we stayed around to savor the views. Then we went on our merry way back to the car. Buf later the clouds had socked in the area once again.

See more trip photos here.

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