Blue Mountain by Twin Sisters and Lyman Hill via Nooksack River / 藍山

  • Reading time:7 mins read

Blue Mountain is one of the eight namesake peaks in Washington State. But only this one takes the front-row view of Twin Sisters Mountain’s stunning west side. Like all things Cascades, the views are often dependent on weather conditions.

Blue Mountain here we come
Blue Mountain here we come

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Blue Mountain at a Glance

Access: Blue Mountain Road
Round Trip: 10.1 miles
Elevation Range: 400′-2448′
Gear: none
Route Info: Connor McEntee, Martin Shetter
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Blue Mountain

I’ve been holding off coming to Blue Mountain because of permit questions. One report mentioned that the area is open to walk-ins, so I decided to check it out firsthand. But I had a plan B in case this idea didn’t work.

In the morning, we drove up and parked before Skookum Creek. The gate on the other side of the bridge indicated the road’s end. Then I walked uphill to the entrance and read all the signs several times. Indeed, the mountain was open to foot traffic only.

Lyman Mountain in the AM
Lyman Mountain in the AM

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Blue Mountain Road

We hiked Blue Mountain Road up to the first junction. Then we turned left onto an unnamed road and stayed west of the ridgeline for the rest of the walk. Later at the next fork, we saw Twin Sisters’ dramatic sighting poking out from the east. And we were only 15 minutes into our walk!

Views to the west were constant, with the Olympic Mountains off to the distance. But I first mistook them for the Canadian peaks. Then the nearby places we’ve visited included Lyman Hill, Anderson Mountain, and Haner Mountain (Whacme Mountain).

Secret is about to unfold
Secret is about to unfold

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Blue Mountain Summit

We continued on the main roadway to reach the summit ridge. Then a side path in a foot of snow took us up to what looked like the high point. It’s hard to tell because the top of the mountain was now flat from logging. Later we took a break by the clearing.

The woodsy summit wasn’t exciting, so I wanted to see if we could look to the east from somewhere. We went back to the main road and headed southeast. Then right before the next fork, the southern Twin Sisters came into view suddenly. Yaaaaaas!

The final stretch on Blue Mountain
The final stretch on Blue Mountain

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South Ridge

Soon, we were out of the trees with full sight of Twin Sisters. The tip of Mount Baker even poked out from behind the range! The first spur road that led to the crest’s east edge gave an open view of the range. But the second side path took us straight into the thicket.

The road’s end had an open view of Twin Sisters, which I last saw from Lincoln Peak. So we spent a long time there since I hadn’t seen the range this close. Other than the few ravens circling overhead, it was quiet up here.

Twin Sisters Mountain panoramic view
Twin Sisters Mountain panoramic view

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Outro

By now, we’ve walked south quite a bit, and I didn’t feel like backtracking. So we looked for a way to go down to the next segment 200 yards away. But going through the second growth and fighting brambles was just the icing on the cake.

I made many stops going back, so it took forever to reach the main road. At one point, we heard the rumbling of two motorbikes going up the mountain. Back at the car, more vehicles had lined the street. Perhaps there was a trail down by the river.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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