Yesterday we took a long scenic drive -- drove from Seattle to Elbe, Ashford, turned off onto Skate Creek Road (FS 52) and when we got to US 12 headed east toward Packwood and on to White Pass, looked at maps and picked out a short hike called Round Mountain and a lookout site. Stats are roughly 1600 feet gain to the lookout and 5 miles round-trip. Nice views from Clear Lake and Rimrock Lake from the lookout site but not much else to recommend it. Maybe it was the time of year or maybe my mood but I couldn't find much to "write home about". No flowers and too soon for much fall color.
Anyone else been there or know something interesting about this trail that I may have missed? I know the trail goes to Twin Peaks for a longer hiker and links up to the PCT but given the long drive we didn't have time to go further than the lookout. The trail wasn't bad -- it just wasn't interesting. The trail stays mostly in the forest, no view until the lookout and most of those views are just peek-a-boos. I did think it would be a pretty place early in the season when there's still snow on the higher hills and perhaps flowers at lower elevations or perhaps even later in the fall when colors turn.
Just for fun we drove down to Rimrock Lake and then headed back on US 12, taking Highway 123 and 410 back to Enumclaw for a long, long loop. Personally, I got more out of the drive than I did the hike. Lots of viewpoints along US 12 and much of that territory was brand new to me.
Would like to go back when I have more time to see what I've missed but don't think I'll go back to Round Mountain. About a 300 mile drive -- car pooling is definitely advised for this one or at least plan to spend a weekend or longer in the area.
-------------- stay together, learn the flowers, go light - from Turtle Island, Gary Snyder
Karen....nope....you called it right.....my wife and I went there a number of years ago in our quest for lookouts.....I also found it unremarkable....not much at the site to reflect the former glory of the lookout...trees grown around the site obscuring the view ( I believe the lookout itself was on a tower anyway) Hope you had a nice time though....
also, wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your articles in 'Getaways' fun to read, informative and a general good time. Many alohas....( and kitty prayers....)
-------------- "Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")
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