Thursday, June 28, 2012

Through-hike: Padden to Powerline via Pipeline, Banjoland, Rock & Roll, and Cedar Dust trails

Distance: 6.1 miles
Time: 2 hours 53 minutes

Another beautiful morning in Bellingham - a good day for a Galbraith through-hike. My wife shuttles me to Padden Trailhead Parking, and my plan is to go up Tower Road, hit some of the south-eastern trails, and go through Galbraith to its northern boundary on Powerline trail.

I end up re-routing and going north - for reasons explained below - exploring some new trails and covering familiar ground in Banjoland and Rock & Roll trails. 

Raney and I cross Samish Way and head up Galbraith Lane. My intention is to follow Tower Road (Road 2000). But the group of No Trespassing signs at the gate seem recent and insistent. I'm not sure if it applies to hikers and mountain bikers, and decide to check with WHIMPS, or perhaps Kulshan Cycle, on whether this is still used as an entry point to Galbraith.

Closure signs on Galbraith Lane.

So we re-route and go north on Road 1000, past the kiosk marked Checkpoint H. The plan is to follow Last Call and get over to Tower Road via Road 2020 and Meth Lab trail.

Checkpoint H kiosk.

With a bit of guesswork, we *think* we find the trail for Last Call on the right. (Distance 1.0 miles, 20 minutes.) 

Last Call trail coming off of Road 1000.

Occasional boardwalks and stunts on Last Call.
We wandered on Last Call, guessing the way on a few forks in the trail.

Eventually we come to a creek with a narrow log bridge crossing it. I think if we had crossed that bridge, we would have come to Road 2020. I decide though to reverse tracks, being a bit unsure of where I am and not completely trusting the skinny bridge.

Overlooking the creek that cuts through Last Call.

More stunts on Last Call.
More forking trails lead to this newly-created logging road, which we turn right on. It leads to a roadblock, and directly behind the roadblock is a trail... presumably more of Last Call trail. It seems that the logging activity has made the route unclear. 

Last Call meets a newly-created logging road...

...which leads to this roadblock and more of Last Call trail behind it.

We take a left at the trail, which runs parallel to Pipeline for a short while. It then meets Pipeline, and we turn right - giving up on getting to Road 2020, for now, and setting our sites on trails further north on Pipeline. 

Heading north on Pipeline.
Going past Road 1010, which cuts to the left, we take Pipeline to a pathway into the Bunny Trails and Banjoland area. (2.1 miles, 53 minutes.)

After a couple minutes of walking, the trail forks. Going left would take us to Bunny trails; we go right towards Banjoland. These are pleasant trails - smooth and rolling. It's a popular and relatively easy trail for mountain bikers.

Raney on Banjoland trail.
Partway into Banjoland, an unexpected sight: "Bob's Rest," which is a rest stop and memorial. (2.3 miles, 1 hr 3 min.) At a junction past Bob's Rest, we go right - it ends up at a loging road and we double back to Bob's Rest, taking the other fork option.

"Bob's Rest."

Banjoland trails.

We encounter a few more forks in the path, eventually coming back to Pipeline. (3.0 miles, 1 hr 26 min.)

Following Pipeline, we turn right at the trail leading off to the right. (3.2 miles, 1 hr 31 min.) In a few steps, the path comes to a tee - turning right would lead to Mole Trap. We turn left to get on Rock & Roll trail. This is one of the best trails on Galbraith - picturesque and rolling trails.

After crossing a couple of logging roads, Rock & Roll becomes Cedar Dust trail - another favorite.

Cedar Dust walkways.

Cedar Dust brings us to the kiosk (Checkpoint K), where we take a water and snack break. (4.3 miles, 2 hr 11 min.)

North kiosk (Checkpoint K)

Raney prefers her water flowing out of the bottle.
From the kiosk, we take Road 1000 west towards Pipeline.

Road 1000 from the kiosk.

Looking towards Bellingham from Pipeline trail.

The steep descent down Pipeline takes us to Lopez right-of-way. (5.6 miles, 2 hrs 40 min.) We reach Yew Street, and home with total time 2 hours 53 minutes, and 6.1 miles.

It's been a good through-hike of Galbraith trails and roads.

Elevation profile (green) shows the mostly downhill nature of this route.

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos... I especially like the one of Raney and the water.
    I think Bob's rest is probably made for a guy that had an accident on Galbraith when the girls were in 1st or 2nd grade.