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RobfromFLA
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PostMon Jan 14, 2019 8:29 am 
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Hi all,

I am trying to plan a multi-week trip exploring the Northern Cascades.. if anyone has any starting points/ tips on how to flow about the park, that would be greatly appreciated. Looking to conquer as many fire lookouts as I can.

Thanks!

P.S. My climbing ability is maxed out at class 3.
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rbuzby
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PostMon Jan 14, 2019 12:30 pm 
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Be sure to hike up to the Sourdough lookout, and Lookout Mountain lookout.  Those aren't as busy as Hidden lake peak lookout, and are almost as amazing view-wise.

In a typical snow year the high country trails are under snow until late July.  Also, smoke season starts at the end of July these days.  I'm hoping we get a slightly early melt off, then a slightly late smoke season, so we can have maybe a week of snow free high country smoke-less hiking.
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Jan 14, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Rob - are you backpacking, car camping, and are you interested in former lookout sites, or those with buildings only?

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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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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jan 14, 2019 9:23 pm 
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http://www.wta.org/
http://www.firelookout.com/wa.html

Without knowing how far and much elevation you're willing to hike, everywhere backpacking is on the table, etc, it's hard to give much advice.  WTA is a fantastic resource.  If you come back and fill in some more details, folks here will be happy to help too.
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RobfromFLA
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 6:58 am 
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You're right, my mistake.

Looking to car camp, mostly, with a few 1-2 night backpacking trips thrown in. I can handle up to 14 miles a day in walking and elevation gain is maxed at around 4000 feet a day. I have done Hidden lake already and that is what inspired me to go back.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 9:09 am 
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Will supply more info later, but here's one to get you started: Desolation Peak.  Requires a water taxi from Ross Lake Resort. It's not cheap, but .... it's Desolation Peak.

There's Goat Mtn. Driveway Butte LO site, Slate Peak....I'll give better details later. Google the names and include WTA in the google search. WTA.org is a good resource.

Not all these are in the Park. Actually only Desolation Peak is.  Someone else already mentioned Sourdough and Lookout Mtn; those are in the Park, awesome choices.

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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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Bootpathguy
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 9:41 am 
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RobfromFLA wrote:
I am trying to plan a multi-week trip exploring the Northern Cascades.. if anyone has any starting points/ tips on how to flow about the park, that would be greatly appreciated.

Here's what I would do. Since it's "a multi-week", I would start my trip in the Methow Valley. Probably starting around Twisp. Heading east to west.

Nibble on the flavors starting in the Chelan Sawtooths. Then move west up the Methow Valley to the Pasayten Wilderness. After visiting some spots in that area, continue west on hwy 20 and hit a bunch of spots in the North Cascades

Google Earth it

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Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
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Bronco
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 10:00 am 
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My only suggestion is have an alternative agenda if the weather is crappy.  Weather is usually good East of the Cascade crest that time of year but unreliable on the West side.
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Foist
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 10:55 am 
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You could visit the Mt. Baker Highway corridor and hike to Copper Ridge lookout and Winchester lookout.  The campgrounds along there are very nice, as well (Douglas Fir, Silver Fir...).  If you manage to get a very rugged, high clearance vehicle, and you are going in August or September (earlier than that, and it's still snow-covered), you could drive all the way up to Twin Lakes and camp there (spectacular campsites with picnic tables and toilets), and it's an easy hike from there up to Winchester (where you could also sleep -- it's first-come-first-served).

Since you're talking about a "multi-week" trip, that wouldn't preclude you from also visiting the Route 20 and 530 corridors and visiting Park Butte, Green Mountain, Sourdough, Lookout Mtn, Desolation Peak, and awesome former sites like Crater Mtn and Devils Dome.  Colonial Creek campground would be a good base for that.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 11:15 am 
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So many good options. I have tried to piece togther a trip to Idaho, and without local knowledge and good sources, it was hard.

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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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Bootpathguy
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Bronco wrote:
My only suggestion is have an alternative agenda if the weather is crappy.  Weather is usually good East of the Cascade crest that time of year but unreliable on the West side.

Why my suggestion make sense. Hang out east of Washington Pass in the Pasayten and Sawtooths, if, the North Cascades has crappy weather

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jan 15, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Also an alternative if it's burning up. Chelan, Sawtooths; there's not much else to burn, but enough to put the hurt on a trip.

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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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MtnGoat
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PostTue Jan 22, 2019 12:32 pm 
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And, keep in mind the weather window for best conditions up there starts in mid July and runs into Sept.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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