April 14, 2024


Health is wealth

Photo Gallery: Hiking to Washington’s Hidden Lake Lookout

3 min read

Words by Andy Cochrane and Johnie Gall.

There is a little something ironic about sleeping in a retired fire lookout although surrounded by the smoke from close by wildfires. But even the possible lung destruction could not continue to keep us absent from a evening in Washington’s Concealed Lake Lookout.

Perched on the top of a granite peak just further than the perimeter of North Cascades National Park, surrounded by 360-diploma sights of jagged mountain ranges and steep glaciers, there are pretty couple of locations like Concealed Lake Lookout in the planet, let on your own just a couple of several hours from a significant U.S. metro location.

The Concealed Lake Lookout was crafted in 1932 and actively manned till it was decommissioned in 1953. It has been managed by volunteers given that, principally by a team that phone calls alone “Friends of Concealed Lake Lookout.” Hikers inclined to just take on the 4-mile, 3,200-foot climb (and what seems to be like an unattainable remaining thrust up the backside of a mountain) will be rewarded with a self-guided tour of the hut, a historical monument stashed with an archive of time-worn visitor guides courting as considerably again as the early ’60s.

Here’s the finest section: An overnight remain in the hut is totally free on a very first-arrive, very first-provide basis. On a clear day, that means waking up to a dawn stretching from Mt. Rainier, and more than a very good part of the North Cascades. And if you really don’t make it to the hut very first, camping amongst wildflowers in an alpine meadow is not precisely the worst consolation prize.

Below, Andy Cochrane and Johnie Gall share their trek from the heart of the Cascades.

The hike begins in a lush forest and right away heads uphill, climbing more than roots and up long sets of wooden stairs.


Just after about a mile, you break by the trees and attain the alpine, climbing seemingly countless switchbacks by fields of wildflowers. Even with climbing more than 1,five hundred feet in elevation, this hike by wildflowers feels chic.

The very last 1,000 vertical feet to the summit get a lot more rocky, and in early year, the trail is typically lined in snow. It’s a steep climb, but cooling off is fairly straightforward if you are imaginative.

The hut alone is very first-arrive, very first-provide, so acquiring an early commence is vital. Potential in the hut is roughly 7 individuals, so in the course of busy summer season weekends be open up to sharing the place. Either way, if you are not preparing on undertaking the trek in a day, be prepared with a tent and sleeping bags. There are a couple of campsites five hundred feet underneath the hut around the saddle. We determined to check out our luck on a weekday, hoping for fewer individuals (we bought the area to ourselves).

Never worry about being bored the moment you get to the summit. The retired lookout is stocked with guide guides, binoculars, online games and guides (we counsel “The Fellowship of the Rings”).

If you are lucky ample remain a evening at the lookout, make confident to remain up for sunset and get up early for dawn. The light dances off close by mountains and glaciers, developing a the moment-in-a-lifetime working experience.

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