Put in a no-advance-notice call to Smartboard for a spontaneous trip to the Winchester Lookout, located in the vicinity of Mount Baker.
30 minutes later he pulled up into the driveway and off we went.
10 minutes later we spied a drunk driver almost run off the road three times in less than a mile and almost wipe out an unsuspecting pedestrian. Time out for a call to 9-1-1 before continuing to the trail head without further incident.
Weather was spot on.
Bugs were just doing fly-by's, but weren't being a nuisance at all.
The road was in its usual condition but we made it all the way to Twin Lakes with a Subaru Outback without bottoming out whatsoever. Thank goodness... saved us a lot of road walking in the sun.
At the Twin Lakes trail head we encountered about four other vehicles, including a Honda Accord.
Snow covers the road at the last corner to the lake, right by the privy if you've been there before.
The trail was easy to follow, with a number of short snow crossings where you could see the trail emerge on the other side.
One of the Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes Ice
Melting Twin Lakes Beauty
Snowfield in upper right is the steep snow crossing
Mount Baker from Winchester LO trail
Happy Family hikers descending toward the lakes
Snack Break with Larrabee Pk in the distance
Looking down on Twin Lakes from trail to LO
There were two steep snowfields as we reached the upper end of the switchbacks above the lake. We were able to skirt around the bottom of the first one and then safely crossed the second one with ice axes in hand.
The second snowfield ends in a moat that's probably 8 feet deep but it was easy to cross with a little time and caution.
Crossing the final steep snowfield
Before we knew it we were at the Lookout.
Snack Break and Picture Break.
Tomyhoi, Canadian and American Peaks
Lookout sign and Mt. Baker
Photos inside the LO
Lookout signage... what is the arrow pointing to?
Tomyhoi Peak and Lake from Winchester LO
Snack with a view
Descent on the trail was uneventful.
Can't beat that scenery!
The Lingering Steep Snowfield Crossing
Ursine Etiquette and Guidelines
Descent on the road was also uneventful, although we were surprised to see a 4WD red truck with a young male driver pulled over by a Law Enforcement SUV while we were still about 2 miles away from Hwy 542. Very unusual in that situation.
Fantastic day for a short notice trip. Thanks for joining me Smartboard!
****There is a work party scheduled for the weekend of August 7th, 2010 by the Mount Baker Club. During that weekend the Lookout will not be available for use or overnights.****
-------------- "Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas." ~John Dryden
My Trip List
Thanks for the TR and pics that I missed on Friday when I was up there. Great to see the view from the top and what the LO looks like. I'll have to give it another couple weeks and get back up there. Awesome area!
-------------- You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
This is one of my favorite Fall hikes. I love to do this about the 3rd week in September when the blueberry hillside is all red. Lots of ash also for color. The hill across usually is a great patchwork of color. I suspect my Honda Civic won't make it. The last time I did it, we took our truck which is currently not in any shape to take out of town.
But gorgeous pictures. Thanks for showing us what it looks like in the summer.
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