Yellow Aster Butte Trail #686.1

The Yellow Aster Butte Trail is within Mt. Baker Wilderness. It traverses the south-facing slopes of the eastern end of the High Divide, winding in and out of small drainages. Find various wildflowers such as anemone, aster, paintbrush and fireweed along the trail, as well as interesting rock formations carved by glaciers and worn by weather. Enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Baker, Border Peaks, Mt. Larrabee and the western portion of the High Divide.

Start on Tomyhoi Lake Trail #686 , switchback through an avalanche path, then enter the forest and continue gaining elevation until the trail breaks out to a flat bench in a meadow. The junction with Yellow Aster Butte Trail #686.1 is about mile and a half from the trailhead. Turn left at the junction and contour around the south side of Yellow Aster Butte. 

At 3.6 miles from the trailhead, reach an unsigned junction. The trail to the right continues approximately a half mile to the windy summit of Yellow Aster Butte. The trail to the left descends 200 feet on a series of steep switchbacks and narrow tread to Yellow Aster Meadows and the designated camping area, where glaciers have carved numerous, small tarns (lakes). Sharp-eyed hikers can find evidence of past mining activity. Camp on snow, rock or bare ground; the meadows are extremely fragile. Beyond the tarns are cross-country unmarked routes to High Divide and Tomyhoi Peak. 

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer - Fall
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Late Summer - Fall
Restrictions: Open to hikers only. No campfires. No camping within one mile of Yellow Aster Butte Trail, except at the tarns. Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns: Glacier, Washington
Water: No potable water.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. Bury or pack out human waste.
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass required at Tomyhoi/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead.
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District office or Glacier Public Service Center

General Information


From Glacier, WA travel east on Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 for about 12 miles. Then turn left ontoTwin Lakes Road (Forest Service road 3065). The road is located at the east end of the Department of Transportation's Shuksan maintenance facility. After 4.5 miles on Forest Service road 3065, reach the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead and parking area.

General Notes:

Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.

• Green Trails: Mt. Shuksan #14
• USGS: Mount Larrabee
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness.


Roadside parking for approximately 20 vehicles.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking

Fire Information Campfires are prohibited in the Mt. Baker Wilderness
Elevation desc Elevation Gain/Loss: +400 feet/-200 feet (+2000 feet/-200 feet from trailhead)
Difficulty Level: More Difficult


Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

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  Area/Length : 
3.6 miles one-way from Tomyhoi Lake Trailhead

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3,600 feet at trailhead.