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nehiker
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PostSat Jul 18, 2020 11:36 am 
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To shake off some backpacking rust, I was thinking of backpacking from the trailhead for Tomyhoi / Yellow Aster Butte and camping in or near the Winchester Mountain Lookout (Mount Baker area). I would be taking a dog with me and it would be just for 1 night and during the week.

Anyone have any idea how often that lookout is used by campers? Also if it were taken, are there somewhat flat spots I could pitch my tent in that area? The one thing I'd rather not do is set up camp at Twin Lakes as it would feel like I did the backpacking effort just to camp with car campers.
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altersego
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PostSat Jul 18, 2020 6:47 pm 
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We hiked up to Winchester Lookout on a cool, cloudy early evening last August. No one was there when we arrived and we stayed for maybe 20-30 minutes. On the hike out a family was on their way to stay in it. I'd imagine the ideal is to show up in the early evening so you're not dealing with visitors too long. No water up there unless you find some snow. Sorry, it's all I got!

Yellow Aster Butte looks like a great place to camp. Tougher hike. We saw a bear on the way up there in mid-September. I think you can camp near some tarns.
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Hesman
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PostSat Jul 18, 2020 10:02 pm 
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I hiked to Winchester a few years ago and recall several flat areas on the summit around the lookout to pitch a tent. If you want to sleep inside, get there early in the day.

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You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln
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Snowdog
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PostMon Jul 20, 2020 10:56 am 
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Beware that snow lingers there late and there have been accidents (one of which I witnessed) on the steep upper slope leading to the LO.

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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fyodorova
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PostMon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm 
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High Pass nearby has flat spots for camping. There was no water when I was there in late October, but there might be seasonal springs or snowmelt (that said, it's probably very snowy up there still).
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Foist
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PostMon Jul 20, 2020 9:36 pm 
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I slept in the lookout last year on a Sunday night with my dad. We had the lookout to ourselves.  One guy with a dog showed up right at dusk and camped outside the lookout, didn't even ask to come in.

Caveats: I would echo the comment that the trail to Winchester will have a steep snow finger until late summer. High Pass also has steep snow that lingers late.  Also, I would not want to walk the road from the YAB trailhead -- brutally sunny and rocky and dusty.  That said, without a high-clearance car, I would not want to drive it either.

You could always set up a tent at Twin Lakes, try for the lookout, and if it's occupied or if the snow is too treacherous, go back down to the lakes.  The lakes are quite nice.
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Dr. T
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PostSat Jul 25, 2020 6:16 am 
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Could camp here, check out the YAB

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