Well I decided to finally see what all the hype was about at Hidden Lake Lookout in the North Cascades. So on another uncharacteristically beautiful fall morning for the Pacific Northwest, Kayuh and I packed up and made the two hour drive into the mountains.
I've heard this hike described as the Mailbox of the North Cascades, always crowded and hard to find true solitude, but mid-week October we practically had the tail to ourselves.
You will never get bored on this on this hike, as it traverses across multiple terrains throughout the 4 mile ascent to the lookout.
The first mile starts winds through the woods, before breaking out into a gully which was thick with fall foliage and wildflowers.
Once we reached the top of the gulley the trail flattened out and lead us into a subalpine meadow scattered with bare granite boulders.
As we ran on, the meadows disappeared and the granite took over as we headed towards the rocky peak of our final destination.
We were truly in the heart of the North Cascades, with some of the ranges most prominent peaks laid out in front of us. Eldorado, Forbidden, Baker, Shuskan, Sahale, all dominated the horizon as the deep blue waters of Hidden Lake below seemed to flow right off the edge of the valley. We found perfect rock on the side of the beak and lounged in the sun for over an hour, still in awe of the unreal views surrounding us. Well at least I was in awe...Kayuh just took a nap.
It was hard to pull myself away but reluctantly we finally made our way back down the trail and to the car. Once again feeling incredibly blessed and full of gratitude for another day spent in the mountains.
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Before attempting Hidden Lake Lookout, please visit WTA.com for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.