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Canyon Creek & Damfino Lakes – Mountain Biking – September 29, 2012

Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) was our intended mountain bike ride for the day.  Eric had been wanting to check it out because it’s the only trail in the Mt. Baker Ranger District open to mountain bikes.  This trail is just a “stone’s throw” from Canada, immediately north of Mt Baker, in Washington State.

On our Green Trails map (#13, Mt Baker), Canyon Ridge is a dotted line trail, which can be code for “bushwhack.”  As such, I started the day with an attitude of adventure, thinking that any “good” riding would be a “bonus.”

Little did we know that our adventure would start sooner rather than later.  Right at the highway, the Canyon Creek Road (#31) was CLOSED.  What?!

We found out from the ranger at the Glacier Public Service Center that the road had actually been closed for 2 years because of a partial road washout.  (That shows you how often we frequent the Mt Baker highway!)  When we got home, I found this page on the Forest Service website, showing the list of road conditions.

Instead of going elsewhere, we decided to ride up the road to see what was up there.  As I have done before, I called this a “Gratitude Saturday.”  To me, that means I’m open to how the day will unfold, instead of trying to make it live up to preconceived plans.  It also means that I feel particularly content and appreciative of the “little” things.  On this day, I loved just being on my bike, with my husband, in the mountains, under the trees, next to the creeks, and among the critters.  Bliss 🙂

Canyon Creek Road (#31) leaves the Mt Baker Highway 542 at about 900 ft elevation.  It terminates at 4200 ft elevation.  The trailhead for Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) and Damfino Lakes Trail (#625) is located at road’s end.

We ended up biking the entire 15 mile road…a workout!  About the first third was paved.  The middle section alternated between pavement and gravel.  The final third was gravel.  By the time we got to the trailhead, we decided that the destination for the day would be Damfino Lakes rather than Canyon Ridge.

The short, 0.8 mile trail to Damfino Lakes (#625) was in surprisingly decent shape for being essentially cut off from the majority of civilization.  (Although we did see motorcycle traffic that day).  The trail climbed 400 ft.  The lakes were small, but beautiful.

In these pictures, you will see some of the “little” things that I photographed during the day, with gratitude:

  • Grey-blue glacial water flowing in the N. Fork Nooksack River
  • Peek-a-boo views of the Canyon Creek Valley
  • Fields of fireweed in a clearcut (I just had to imagine how intense the color must have been when it was all blooming)
  • Old logging signage from the 1950’s
  • Canyon Creek as it parallels the road
  • Bridges, flowers, mountains, valleys, patches of snow
  • Damfino Lakes
  • Glimpses of Mt Baker

[Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery]

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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