Less crowded than nearby Park Butte, Dock Butte is a worthy alternative to its more popular sibling. The views are just as spectacular, with Mount Baker's south side featured prominently on the horizon. What Dock Butte lacks is not wildflowers or berries – the trail offers plenty of both – but a lookout tower at the top. Burned down in 1964, nothing remains of Dock Butte's fire lookout except the 360-degree views from its former site.
To reach Dock Butte, follow the Blue Lake Trail to a signed junction at 0.25 miles. To the left, Blue Lake lies half a mile down the trail and is a great place to cool down after reaching the summit of the butte. For now, stay right.
The trail to Dock Butte passes tarns and blueberry bushes as it climbs, with views of Loomis Mountain and Mount Baker to the north. It's a relatively easy trek for the first 1.5 miles. The final half mile to the summit becomes steep and requires a bit of scrambling, so be prepared to use your hands. Once you reach the 5,200-foot summit, take in the views all around. You are surrounded by the North Cascades: Baker, Shuksan, Glacier Peak, the Twin Sisters, and many more. If the mountaintops are obstructed by clouds, Baker Lake may be visible on even the gloomiest of days.