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We followed the faint path down from the sub-summit and along the grassy ridgeline. There's one spot where we had to detour around a vertical step, but otherwise it was a straightforward walk. Right before reaching the summit crag, there's was a bit of slabby scrambling and then a bit of blocky stuff. And then we were on top - at a nice little platform ringed by some rock. Although the summit is small and drops away steeply on most sides, it doesn't feel that airy or exposed. It was actually a pretty nice place to sit and have our lunch.
Brian, Yellow Aster Butte
Tomyhoi Lake
Small Summit
The clearing off to the west was clearly not moving in our direction, and we were not going to get any sunny periods. On the other hand, there hadn't been any rain and the visibility (below about 8000-9000 feet) was quite excellent. Basically, other than Mt Shuksan and Mt Baker, we could see pretty much all of the mountains around us. There was a particularly nice view down to Tomyhoi Lake from our summit viewpoint.
Not Yellow Asters
Family on sub-summit
Stubborn in the clouds
and here's a nice mini-video of us on the summit:
An orbit of Brian and I on the summit of Yellow Aster Butte
We had hiked this peak on a Monday, meaning that we had had a nice quiet, mostly crowd-free hike. Now, however, a fairly large group of hikers had appeared on the sub-summit, and looked like they were about to start making their way towards us. Being too small of a summit to support that large of a group, we decided to begin our descent. We hiked back along the ridgecrest to the sub-summit, climbed up and over it, and began following the trail in reverse, back down towards the trailhead.

Given the great condition of the trail - both in terms of overall grade and surface quality, we strolled easily back down towards the car.
Returning from summit
Beautiful ridgeline path
Nearing Gold Run Pass
Brian Connell, Yellow Aster Butte Alumni
Tiny Summit
Back down into forest
A very relaxed and enjoyable two hour walk brought us back down to the parking lot, making for an almost exactly six-hour outing. Perfect. This hike had really hit the spot - perfect length, perfect level of difficulty, not unpleasant weather, and very scenic. A good filler day on the way to our [hopefully eventual] Glacier Peak climb.
Cars in sight
Some rain up there
Back at the trailhead
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Yellow Aster Butte - click map to view

Yellow Aster Butte - Hike Data
Start Time:
Start Elevation:
3630ft (1106m) *
End Time:
Max Elevation:
6235ft (1901m) *
Min Elevation:
3630ft (1106m) *
13.34 km (8.29 mi)
End Elevation:
3659ft (1115m) *
Average Speed:
2.2 km/hr (1.3 mph)
* : +/- 75 feet
Nooksack Falls
On the way back from our hike, we stopped at a scenic attraction along the Mount Baker Highway: Nooksack Falls. It is very distinctive, with an attractive multi-way split. A historic power facility operated at this location for nearly 90 years, starting in 1906. Today there are only a few remnants of the power plant. The falls are the main attraction.

We continued on after visiting the falls to Seattle, where we met up with our friend Rosty. We were meeting up to begin our third attempt on Glacier Peak. To read the full Glacier Peak climb story, click here.
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