8.9 miles rt
gain: 3370 ft
max: 6912 ft
Me and my friend K
gpx track, use at your own risk: Hidden Lake
I LOVE to get high. This hike gets me high, all is good (:
I wanted some elevation and I knew this place would deliver. I also knew there would be some snow and there was. The snow was never a problem and I didn’t ever put on my gaitors. The ice however! There are many creeks and wet areas along this trail and they were all covered with thick layers of ice, slick slick ice. I had invited a friend (K) but perhaps didn’t stress the possible conditions well enough. She did bring some yakky kind of foot gear and they definitely helped. I brought my baby campons (Hillsounds) so I was good to go. K was kind enough to drive and when we got to parking we were third car there (parking N48 30.849 W121 13.297). The trail is described quite well on WTA: Hidden Lake Lookout I did not bring Miranda along on this one, the cold ice and snow would be hard on her paws. As it was, we followed a blood trail up and found out it was from the day before when some guy came up in jeans and a sweatshirt and brought his dog along. Poor pup had some bloody paws as a result of the conditions, so sad.
This hike is one I do every year or two, it has a lot of payoff at the end…a restored fire lookout with 360 views set deep in the alpine, what more could one want.
The trail starts off in an older forest and starts to go up right from the start. After a while it leaves the forest and the switchbacks through the meadow starts. Here the snow was starting to get a few inches deep but the ice was really bad in places. After getting to the top of the meadow, the trail crosses over to a rocky slope with huge boulders to meander through. The views at this point are already outstanding and they keep getting better as you go.
Once though the boulder field the trail turns a corner and you start the upward travel again that eventually leaves you on a flat area directly below the lookout summit.
The final approach to the summit block had quite a bit of snow on it and the angle of the slope added a little thrill but soon we were on top enjoying the views. It was a great day!