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Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Posts: 4373 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Cyclopath
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Faster than light
PostThu Jul 30, 2020 9:42 pm 
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Conditions:  Road is passable w/ low clearance if you're careful about where you put your tires.  Some snow on the trail, not dangerous, microspikes not needed.  Water available at the outflow of the pond.  Plague of shrunken flying vampires.  Lookout is closed to the public.

This has been on my list for years, I don't know why I waited so long.  I'll be brief and get to the pictures because I'm sure I was one of the last people who hadn't hiked this trail.  But for the other few:  it starts out in the woods and looks exactly like every other west side trail, then it's meadow the rest of the way.  Down low it's a wildfire bonanza, up above it's smaller plants, the flowers are things like phlox.  The trail is up almost all the way - there's a short down section about halfway in that you'll curse on the way out - and every little bit of elevation you gain brings you even better views.  This one is dramatically beautiful.

Lots of this
Lots of this
Meadows
Meadows
Meadows
Meadows
Almost there
Almost there
Summit view
Summit view
Lookout w/ Baker
Lookout w/ Baker
Summit pano
Summit pano
Heading home
Heading home
Can't get enough meadows
Can't get enough meadows
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6690 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostThu Jul 30, 2020 9:56 pm 
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Beautiful photos. You picked a good time for the flower show.

A couple years ago I was on a WTA volunteer vacation trip that worked on an alternate trail to avoid that badly eroded uphill-going-out section you mentioned. I'm sure it's not done yet, but when it is it should be a much better route.

2018 new trail
2018 new trail

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 1556 | TRs
Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 9:57 pm 
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Cool for you to make it up there. Beautiful! A finer view you'll not easily find.

Having the good fortune to help restore the lookout in 2001 and 2002 as part of a Passports in Time project,  it is gratifying to see it still standing proud.  When I restrung and buried the copper wires for lightning protection (shown in the picture), we encountered a rather fierce marmot that lived under the building.
Just being territorially defensive, I guess!

The lookout has been reconstructed on site in Sept. 2009, but in 2012 a wilderness-advocacy group won in a lawsuit to have it torn down because a helicopter was  used in a designated wilderness area.  As of early 2014, the lookout still remains. A bill was recently passed that will allow the lookout to remain in place, and you found that to be true indeed!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 10:07 pm 
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Cool for you to make it up there. Beautiful! A finer view you'll not easily find.

Having the good fortune to help restore the lookout in 2001 and 2002 as part of a Passports in Time project,  it is gratifying to see it still standing proud.  When I restrung and buried the copper wires for lightning protection (shown in the picture), we encountered a rather fierce marmot that lived under the building.

Cyclopath wrote:
Summit pano
Summit pano


Just being territorially defensive, I guess!

The entire structure was dismantled, flown out by heli,  and reworked in Darrington. The lookout had been reconstructed on site in Sept. 2009, but in 2012 a wilderness-advocacy group won in a lawsuit to have it torn down because a helicopter was  used in a designated wilderness area. Ironically, it was to be flown out by helicopter to Circle Peak.  As of early 2014, the lookout still remained.  A bill was recently passed that will allow the lookout to remain in place, and you found that to be true indeed!

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Kim Brown
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Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 5834 | TRs

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PostFri Jul 31, 2020 7:58 am 
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Wow, Brushbufflao, I didn't realize you were part of the PIT project!  The lookout log from 1969 by Doug Newmann discusses the marmot damage in the lookout. A marmot got in and chewed up cabinets, steps, the bunk frame and table!

Wilderness Watch, and NC3, plaintiffs in the lawsuit,  claimed it was restored in secret; that no one knew about it. i guess if you didn't do any research to learn about the earlier Congressional grant (sponsored by Hillary Clinton in the late 1990) and the PIT project sponsored by National Parks, and that local not for profit organizations like WTA and I think Mountaineers, held work parties for the lookout while it was parked at the parking lot of the Darrington Ranger station (scrubbing, paint, glazing, measuring), I suppose one would believe the repair was done was secret. or you're a lying sack of sh##. But I digress.

Anyway; back to cyclopath's report. Wow, the flowers! and good know know the vampires have appeared. But good news, they'll soon be gone. But bad news - it's black fly hell on that slope later in summer. But good news again; the berries and the fall color up there are incredible. like a painting. cartoon-esque colors. Really; go back in fall.

Years ago (OK, two decades), when WTA was doing a LOT of work parties up there at the beginning of summerr before all the flowers were in bloom, we were hacking away at the vegetation with brushwhips. We got yelled at by lots of hikers, but to us, we were brushing out the trail, which we thought was helpful to hikers. Fast forward a few years when I began to understand the wildflower frenzy.

I still feel ilke a turd when I hike this trail, thinking of the Great Brushwhip Maul that summer. I don't think WTA would do that kind of work up there nowadays; this was the early days of their trail maintenance program.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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freshout
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Joined: 05 May 2019
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 8:50 am 
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The meadows do get brush whipped on occasion as its technically a stock trail.
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