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Church Lake and Bearpaw Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.10 - 05:49:01
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 370m
Participants: Martin, Asia, Luna the dog
Difficulty: 2: Mostly hiking, Last part of Bearpaw Mountain would need scrambling.
Easy hike on established trail to Church Lake, then steep path to peak 6066. Final 100m to Bearpaw Mtn. requires some scrambling.
This area is south of Canyon Creek, a large hook-shaped valley between Washington Route 542 and the border. Canyon Creek Road had been closed a few years ago by a slide, but is now repaired. We took a left off 542 15.5 km past Maple Falls. This put us onto NF-31 just after crossing to the north side of the Nooksack River. Surprisingly, the first part of this road is paved, but single lane with pullouts. This lasts for a few km's and then the road turns into gravel with potholes. After 15.3km, we came to the turnoff of NF-3160. This road continued to be in good shape all the way to the Church Lake trailhead. At the trailhead there was a Subaru, and a pickup truck with a flat tire. Hmm, kind of sketchy, we thought. There is a good trail after the parking lot that shows evidence of motorcycle use, but we didn't see any. After only half an hour of hiking, we came to Church Lake, a picturesque lake located in a basin below Bearpaw Mountain.
[photo]Dsc04070.jpg[caption]Church Lake with Bearpaw Mountain in the clouds[/photo]
We passed through someone's campsite in the trees next to the lake, I think they were out fishing on the lake. Another group was camped in the open at the shore of the lake a bit further on. After the lake we kept to the left and hiked up the rim on the left side of the basin up to point 6066 (Kidney NE2). There were good views into the upper Canyon Creek valley and it looked like a really nice ridge heading over to the Excelsior Pass area.
[photo]Dsc04097.jpg[caption]Looking back down the basin towards Church Lake. Bearpaw Mtn. on left[/photo]
[photo]Dsc04122.jpg[caption]Looking East towards Excelsior Pass[/photo] From Pt.6066 we hiked downhill to the north to check out Bearpaw Mountain. We got to within 100m of the summit, where there is some...
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