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Highwalker's Daughter
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PostSat Jan 16, 2010 5:57 pm 
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We had a little trouble finding it due to the street name change and more houses in Sudden Valley since the guidebook had been written so we had to ask a resident where to go for the final 1/2 mile of driving.  Take Exit 240 from I-5 heading north and cross 99; go about 8 miles to a left on Lake Louise.  Go through Gate 5 of Sudden Valley, go right on Tumbling Water Drive; left on Shelton (?) Court (no longer called Palomino); then an immediate right - looks like a driveway to a house so we missed it the first time.  Drive 1/4 mile or so to the end, and you will come to a gate.  Take a left on the logging road and left at the other forks until the final fork; take a right there by the Puget Power Box.

We started out with some territorial views, then the sound of a creek quite a bit of the way, and peek a boo views of Lake Whatcom below us.  After the Puget Power Box, you start to come out to the ridge with spectacular views over to Baker; then from the lower tower (we first went to the true summit - not much view from there; then to the lower tower which was bathed in sun, had a little bench, and magnificent views west and north.  The Coast Range was crystal clear, the sound and Samish and Padden Lakes sparkled below us, and we could see the Olympics still through the cloud cover.  To the south was a really dark cloud, and Baker was soon covered, but we enjoyed sun the whole day - excellent lowland hike!  11 miles and 2040 feet of gain, and we didn't see more than 4 people all day.  It took us about 4 hours of hiking time.

the limited area for parking
the limited area for parking
Lake Padden in the distance
Lake Padden in the distance
more westward views
more westward views
Mt. Baker is under there!
Mt. Baker is under there!
Just as we broke out completely, Baker and the Sisters went into hiking
Just as we broke out completely, Baker and the Sisters went into hiking
Coast range was crystal clear in person - not so much in this picture
Coast range was crystal clear in person - not so much in this picture
the sound
the sound
Samish Lake, the sound, Olympics hiking in the clouds
Samish Lake, the sound, Olympics hiking in the clouds
Shona and Melissa at the tower just below the true summit.
Shona and Melissa at the tower just below the true summit.
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Hikingqueen
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PostSat Jan 16, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Yeah, for sunny day! up.gif
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bobbi
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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PostSat Jan 16, 2010 9:19 pm 
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wave.gif   i was on storm king waving at you!  you should have come over this weekend. biggrin.gif  dang weather forecast!

after quite the rainstorm yesterday morning, the sun came out, then awoke this morning to an icy windshield and sun!

great views from the summit! up.gif

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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Highwalker's Daughter
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PostSun Jan 17, 2010 8:24 am 
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These pesky weather forecasts that have turned out to be wrong several times!  I will FOR SURE  be staying in Port Angeles the night of April 1 - if we have the same spring break, we could do something that Friday - has to be kind of easy as hubby is along  smile.gif .  We're on our way up to Neah Bay that weekend.  Can't remember if you had plans then or not - getting too old to retain info dizzy.gif   Mom and I will explore the Kitsap area today, but it's kind of far for you to meet us  bawl.gif
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alpendave
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PostSun Jan 17, 2010 8:41 am 
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Ah...I remember living in Sudden Valley. I took a short jaunt from the parking area where you parked. Very limited indeed. I usually just walked out my front door and walked a short distance on Sudden Valley Drive and a couple small side streets to Stimpson Nature Reserve.

Your photo of the parking area reminded me of how dark and damp Sudden Valley is. Looks like you had a quite a nice outing, though.

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Like a ray of sunshine in a drought stricken land.

What we do does far more than what we think others ought to do. Inspiration is a far greater power for good than coercion. In your own life, show others the good that you wish to see in the world.
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Snowdog
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PostMon Jan 18, 2010 9:41 am 
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Looks like you guys had a great outing (once locating TH-wink.gif
sorry to have missed it- I love looking down on Lakes Whatcom & Samish.

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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aywolfpac
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PostMon Jan 18, 2010 10:57 am 
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Nice report.  I've hiked up that road a couple of times to a waterfall that's about a mile up the road.  It would be on the first creek that you cross but it's down below the road and very tough to get a good view of:

Main drop of a 100' tall waterfall near Bellingham, WA.  The log across the face of the falls has boards nailed into it that some crazy mountain bikers were planning on riding across!!!!
Main drop of a 100' tall waterfall near Bellingham, WA.  The log across the face of the falls has boards nailed into it that some crazy mountain bikers were planning on riding across!!!!

You can actually see a small upper tier of the falls from the road.  I've never walked the rest of the way up the road.  Looks like a nice little walk.
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yew
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PostMon Jan 18, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Hmmm, I don't know of accessing Lookout from this area (?). I just parked on Lake Louise Road across from a red gate.  Ken Wilcox's "Hiking Whatcom County" has directions to park on Lake Louise Road (I think).

They blew the weather forecast all weekend.  Saturday was really nice.
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Highwalker's Daughter
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PostTue Jan 19, 2010 8:40 am 
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My Winter Hikes book (don't have it with me as I'm at work so don't recall the author) says to park at the actual trailhead, but there isn't much parking.  We saw people coming up from wherever the road actually ends, but that was north of the Lake Louise Rd. so not sure where it started.  We hooked onto it by parking where we did.  None of them were doing more than short walks as we didn't see anyone past the first 1/2 mile.

Yeah, had I known there'd be good weather, I'd have done some different planning for the weekend!
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Eric
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Peak Geek
PostTue Jan 19, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Right, the standard parking for Lookout is at 462' on Lake Louise Road at a gate that has a sign about Bellingham or Whatcom County Public Works or some such thing.
48.71936
-122.35536

The info in the Ken Wilcox book is somewhat outdated and that area is now private property. It's probably fine to still park there for now but in the longer term that access will eventually disappear.
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Highwalker's Daughter
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PostTue Jan 19, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Good to know as this is one I'd enjoy doing again.  I found that a couple of the hikes in his book are rather outdated, but mostly it's been good info.  Thanks for posting the GPS coordinates.
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Eric
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PostTue Jan 19, 2010 6:22 pm 
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Yeah outdated is probably a bit harsh. He wrote the book and there has been a lot of development in that area and that sort of stuff can change.

As long as you can park where you did, I think you should continue to do that. For now. The roadside parking at the gate is probably a bit more exposed and so perhaps vulnerable to vandalism or break-ins.
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