Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Higgins Lookout Site 5/16/2020
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Stefan
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PostMon May 18, 2020 3:32 pm 
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Trail in decent shape except for two areas.  One is a 30 yard swath from a fresh landslide at 2500 feet.  It is a big landslide--its about 1000feet long!  You can make it across, but not easy for the average trail hiker.  The next area of difficulty is the crossing of Dicks Creek at 2800 feet.  Not easy for the average trail hiker to make it across.  Doable when the snow melt is gone, and when the water is running high like now, you have to get across downed trees.  We experienced snow at 3500 feet upon entering the basin.  It was still a lot of snow.  About 4 feet deep at this time.  Snow all the way to the lookout site.

Directions:
Take C Post Road just east of the Oso Landslide Memorial and drive down the road and park at the area just before the gate which is just before the Stillaguamish River.
Take mountain bikes for 3 miles taking logging roads taking the first left after crossing the river.  At the second road junction take the left again.
Drop bikes about 20 yards before the berms in the road. The trail is unmarked and hard to find at first off to the right, or east of the road.
Trail is in really great decent shape.
Trail problem at landslide at 2500 feet.  Its a big landslide about 1000 feet long and 30 yards wide the entire way...and maybe problematic for the average trail hiker.
Trail problem at crossing Dicks Creek at 2800 feet.  No bridge.  Difficult to cross when water is high.
Experienced deep snow starting at 3500 feet in basin before Myrtle Lake.  About 4 feet at this time.
Snow all the way to the top at this time.

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Kim Brown
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PostMon May 18, 2020 5:23 pm 
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Left after the river and left again? Isn't that going back to 530?

Good to see a report from this trail. I sure do miss it (thought I've only done it 3 or 4 times, it's still a place I really really like)

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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cascadetraverser
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PostMon May 18, 2020 6:16 pm 
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Always wanted to go up there, I bet there’s a great view?
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Stefan
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PostTue May 19, 2020 10:25 am 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Left after the river and left again? Isn't that going back to 530?

Correctomundo!

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Stefan
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PostTue May 19, 2020 10:25 am 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
Always wanted to go up there, I bet there’s a great view?

Correctomundo!

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Kim Brown
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PostTue May 19, 2020 10:39 am 
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So you started at the old old old trail waaay down by the river and not at the trail head we've used for the last few decades? (the one with the shot up sign at the beginning of the newest of 2 clearcuts?)

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Stefan
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PostTue May 19, 2020 11:18 am 
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I took the logging roads (taking two lefts) as you cross the river to 1,460 feet in elevation and started the trail from there as indicated on the USGS map.

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Galadriel
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PostTue May 19, 2020 12:58 pm 
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Mt Higgins was the first peak I climbed after moving here from Oregon. Sunset magazine had a feature article on Higgins, titled "Modest peak, a view to brag about." It was an accurate description smile.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostTue May 19, 2020 2:28 pm 
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O for crying out loud. Had to look at a map.

I had hard lefts in mind. Your 2nd left is a veer. Which is still a left, of course.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Bluebird
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 9:03 am 
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I was about to write a TR for Higgins, but this is only two weeks old so I'll just add on here- hope that's OK etiquette.

We parked next to the Whitehorse trail in the gravel lot off C-post road. The road is gated shortly afterwards. Walk up the road is pleasant and full of salmonberries and birds. The trail start is not at all obvious. It is NOT the more obvious trail leaving the end of the road. It is near the end, but not at it and on the right hand side. This is it...the vague footpath in some grass.

As mentioned, the trail is in decent condition most of the way aside from the mentioned challenges. We really enjoyed the moist-ness, the old forest and the various decay. It isn't for the person who likes a smooth trail experience, but for people like us, it was perfect. We found a snake friend who let us spend several minutes with him/her.

At the landslide, the trail is a little hard to find on the other side, it is slightly higher on the opposite side. The crux of this for me was climbing over the trees on the near side to get to the landslide. Overall it wasn't any issue for us, but I wouldn't take my hiker mother across this thing biggrin.gif

The Dick's Creek crossing has two options we found-- on the way there we took the second (farther down the trail) option, slippery mud to the trail, then a very delicate log/rock hop with one really big step at the end. I wasn't too keen at trying to do that last step in the opposite direction, so we took the downstream option, which has one orange flag on it. It's a log-jam ish thing, I butt scooted down one log, then an easy walk. Archer did something a little different, there are some options here. Agree this is tough with high water. If the log option hadn't worked, we would have waded but as smallish women, we would have likely been up to our thighs in the deeper sections and I try to avoid water that deep for safety reasons. On the other side of the stream there are a few flags through a section where it looks like blowdown destroyed the original trail, it's vague through here but not hard to follow if you keep looking.

We also hit significant snow by 3500 elevation. It is probably still very deep, although occasional small patches were melted out. It was well consolidated and we did fine in our trail shoes/approach shoes plus tall gaiters to keep the snow out.

The meadow area is somewhat melted out too, very moist and marshy. It is definitely a chilly spot, had to layer up here, guessing the cold is why the snow stays. We stayed to the right on the snow to protect this fragile area. Beyond the meadow, trend left and up in a gradual traverse. Using a GPS track from Peakbagger, we managed to find the actual trail and follow small patches of it between snowpatches. One section has a large cairn on a tree that (usually) indicates that the trail is the tree itself, however, the trail is uphill of this. The final 600 vertical was all snow and I was able to easily kick steps in my approach shoes. Only needed poles.

We really enjoyed the summit views in the early evening light.

Our time: took us 5.5 hours up with the routefinding issues (ie starting at the end of the road, nature enjoyment time, finding the trail on the other side of the landslide, creek crossing, various trail hunting, my watch losing signal and getting us off route above the meadow (gave in and loaded up gaia and found our way back to the route). We started at noon, so this meant we were leaving the summit at 6pm. We wanted to be sure we were past the landslide before dark. We made very good time since we did no route hunting on the return and were back to the TH by 8:15 and to the cars just after 9pm. No headlamps required.

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Jake Robinson
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 9:45 am 
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Bluebird wrote:

What a cool looking peak. Had to look this one up: Skadulgwas Peak. puzzlr and b00 have good TRs. Looks like a fun climb!
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Bluebird
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 9:52 am 
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A little closer up for ya biggrin.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 12:25 pm 
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Bluebird wrote:

Is this photo flipped (or taken on your way out)? I recall the clearcut slope being on the left as you're going in. Then again, I thought Stefan went back to the highway in the beginning of his report.... dizzy.gif

Heartening to start seeing reports. The trail needs more boots.

They used to keep a sign at the trail head; folks kept shooting it to smithereens.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Bluebird
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 12:56 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Is this photo flipped (or taken on your way out)?

No, that is on the way to the lookout site. I had already crossed, this is of my friend crossing.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jun 02, 2020 3:54 pm 
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Back to the map I go. I sure don't recall a logged slope above me, to my right as I hiked in. I've done it a few times, but not since the road was gated by the landowner several years ago (different gate than the Oso slide closure), so it's been awhile.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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