Photo Gallery: Hiking to Washington's Hidden Lake Lookout

Phrases by Andy Cochrane and Johnie Gall.

There’s one thing ironic about sleeping in a retired hearth lookout whereas surrounded by the smoke from close by wildfires. However even the potential lung harm couldn’t hold us away from an evening in Washington’s Hidden Lake Lookout.

Perched on the highest of a granite peak simply past the perimeter of North Cascades Nationwide Park, surrounded by 360-degree views of jagged mountain ranges and steep glaciers, there are only a few locations like Hidden Lake Lookout on the planet, not to mention just some hours from a significant U.S. metro space.

The Hidden Lake Lookout was in-built 1932 and actively manned till it was decommissioned in 1953. It has been maintained by volunteers since, primarily by a gaggle that calls itself “Friends of Hidden Lake Lookout.” Hikers prepared to tackle the four-mile, 3,200-foot climb (and what appears to be like like an unattainable remaining push up the bottom of a mountain) can be rewarded with a self-guided tour of the hut, a historic monument stashed with an archive of time-worn visitor books relationship way back to the early ’60s.

Right here’s one of the best half: An in a single day keep within the hut is free on a first-come, first-serve foundation. On a transparent day, which means waking up to a dawn stretching from Mt. Rainier, and over a very good portion of the North Cascades. And for those who don’t make it to the hut first, tenting amongst wildflowers in an alpine meadow isn’t precisely the worst comfort prize.

Right here, Andy Cochrane and Johnie Gall share their trek from the guts of the Cascades.

The hike begins in a lush forest and instantly heads uphill, climbing over roots and up lengthy units of wood stairs.


After a few mile, you break via the timber and attain the alpine, mountain climbing seemingly limitless switchbacks via fields of wildflowers. Regardless of climbing over 1,500 toes in elevation, this hike via wildflowers feels chic.

The final 1,000 vertical toes to the summit get extra rocky, and in early season, the path is usually coated in snow. It’s a steep climb, however cooling off is fairly straightforward for those who’re artistic.

The hut itself is first-come, first-serve, so getting an early begin is critical. Capability within the hut is roughly seven folks, so throughout busy summer season weekends be open to sharing the house. Both method, for those who’re not planning on doing the trek in a day, be ready with a tent and sleeping luggage. There are a number of campsites 500 toes beneath the hut close to the saddle. We determined to strive our luck on a weekday, hoping for fewer folks (we acquired the place to ourselves).

Don’t fear about being bored when you get to the summit. The retired lookout is stocked with information books, binoculars, video games and books (we advise “The Fellowship of the Rings”).

In case you’re fortunate sufficient keep an evening on the lookout, make certain to look ahead to sundown and rise up early for dawn. The sunshine dances off close by mountains and glaciers, making a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

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