Saturday, June 1, 2013

looking out

Have I mentioned that I'm kind of obsessed with fire lookouts?

Desolation Lookout in the North Cascades is my favorite one. I've spent a few nights here.
If a trail goes to one, it makes me want to hike there even more. 

So today I grabbed some bear spray and headed over to the park to hike to a lookout I try to visit at least once a year.  I forgot that it was June already, so a seasonal gate was open, eliminating four miles of road walking.  Score!

I was greeted by this sign:

However, there were quite a few folks on the trail, so I figured most bears would beat feet well away from there.

The trail winds through an old burn, gaining about 2000 feet of elevation in about 3.5 miles.  It only took me an hour to get to the top.

I saw a grouse putting on a show.

The lookout is no longer staffed.  I wanted to look inside, but it stays shuttered all year round.

The peak was still in the clouds, but I had glimpses of peaks in the park and the lake far below.

I sat on the catwalk, thinking about what it would have been like to work and live up here in 1929, when this lookout was built.

Early lookouts
Reading my kindle on the lakeshore after my hike completed a perfect day.



  1. I love hiking to fire lookouts too! Here in Oregon there's a couple of lookouts that are open to the public.

  2. Cool pictures! (Except the grouse kind of scared me). Thanks for stopping by my blog! I totally don't understand the hashtag thing either. I don't even use them on twitter. #notcool


  3. Great start to hiking season there---loved that u got so close to displaying grouse. Would like to try (at least part of) trail to Apgar!

  4. Linda, we have some you can rent too. I love that. Also sometimes I get to work in them.

    Steph, the grouse kind of scared me at first too because I didn't see it and then it was right there!

    The first mile of this trail is pretty flat...then it climbs. Only 3 switchbacks, but long ones!

  5. I thought the bear spray was a joke until I saw your picture about it too! Wow, bear spray? What does it do? I live a sheltered life and need to get outside more!

  6. Bear spray is a potent form of pepper spray that you use to fend off a charging or attacking bear. I haven't ever had to use it, but I know people who have. It is like mace for bears!


I try to answer all comments, so comment away!