Posted by: magmatist | June 30, 2014

Guided geology field trip to Park Butte, Mount Baker

Baker and the Black Buttes from the meadows below Park Butte.

Baker and the Black Buttes from the meadows below Park Butte.

The trip is full. You can still sign up (no fee) to be on the cancellation list.

MBVRC is offering a guided geology hike to Park Butte, near the south flank of Mount Baker. Registration information is below. The trip is oriented toward the general public with an interest in geology, but no previous geologic background is necessary.

Wednesday, August 20, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

The 7-to-8 mile round trip hike offers great views of Mount Baker’s glacier-clad south slope, the glacially-gutted Black Buttes volcano, and  the Twin Sisters range. We will see deposits left by glacier outburst floods, a Mount Baker lahar, the early Holocene Sulphur Creek lava, a rare type of lava for the Baker volcanic center (olivine basalt at Cathedral Crag), several volcanic ash layers, Pleistocene lake deposits, and some of the oldest rock known in the North Cascades (Yellow Aster gneiss in the Bell Pass Melange).  At Tarn Plateau we will see an orphan lava that is between Black Buttes and Mount Baker in age. We can visit one of the few remaining fire lookouts in the area on Park Butte, time and weather permitting. Hiking begins at the trail head in Schreibers Meadow.

Several layers of volcanic ash can be seen in trail cuts.

Several layers of volcanic ash can be seen in trail cuts.

The trip will be led by  Doug McKeever, geology professor (emeritus) at Whatcom Community College, assisted by Dave Tucker, adjunct faculty at Western Washington University. Both are board members of Mount Baker Volcano Research Center and have published on Mount Baker volcanic geology.

The cost is $75 person.This  includes transportation,  field trip pamphlet, and the services of your cheerful guides. $50 for those who attended a previous MBVRC field trip in 2014. Proceeds go to the MBVRC research and education fund. Van transportation is provided from our rendezvous in Bellingham, with an additional pickup spot near Sedro Woolley for folks coming from south of Bellingham.

Additional information: The Schreibers Meadow trailhead is at 3,350 feet and Park Butte lookout is at 5,450 feet. The grade is moderate and the trail is rocky in places but no scrambling is involved. You will need to bring a small backpack with lunch and water, plus clothing and footwear suitable for changeable mountain weather conditions. The trip is suitable for teens and up. The trip goes rain or shine.

REGISTRATION: MBVRC field trips fill quickly. Please reserve your spot via email to:

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this is not a link

You will receive payment and rendezvous instructions. This trip is limited to the first 20 paid persons. Your payment is a tax-deductible charitable contribution.



  1. Reblogged this on Northwest Geology Field Trips and commented:

    This guided geology field trip was posted yesterday on teh Mount Baker Volcano Research Center website. The trip is already nearly half full, so don’t delay!

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