Type of HikeOvernight
Trail ConditionsObstacles on trail:
Overgrown in places.
A team effort got us to the lookout this trip. Luckily Arthur remembered to bring his long crosscut saw or the trip would have been over. Less than a mile up from the Suiattle River road #26 we encountered a huge, fallen tree blocking the Green Mountain road. Out came the saw after planning how to safely proceed. There were four of us so we were able to share in the sawing exercise and roll the log away in only an hour. Fortunately there were no other obstacles as we continued on to the trailhead. There we donned our packs after Arthur weighed them. Mine and Dave’s weighed the same, 32 lbs, Arthurs weighed 42 lbs and Adams was nearly 50 lbs as he carried the heaviest equipment in on his one-day trip. The trail, once out of the forest, is significantly overgrown on the south facing slope along the route. Some vegetation reached higher than our heads but there was still a visible dirt path to follow. The trail is more open on the east-side shoulder nearing Small Lake, across the open west slope and up the south ridge. We arrived at the lookout about 1440 and immediately set out all tools and hardware for the work needed. The bugs en route along the trail were bothersome but now they were unbearable since we were no longer in continuous motion. So we either layered-up clothing or sprayed it with repellant. Even the local marmots were irritated by the pesky mosquitoes and flies as displayed by their frequent scratching or head-covering. We worked on the busted railings, and also reinforced the railings on the north and west sides, all the while enjoying the spectacular views and taking advantage of photo opportunities when the marmots arrived and during the sunset. Wildflowers are now blooming at higher elevations but there is no water source above the lake. There are still snow patches not far below the lookout, so we melted snow for our water. Biking in from the locked gate is the quickest way to cover the 12 miles of road to the trailhead, going from 900’ at the gate to about 3500’. The lookout is closed and still awaiting completion of its restoration work. Plan on staying at the campsite near Small Lake with its summer-long running outlet, or higher on the west slope where there is an open campsite along the trail. No axe or traction devices needed in later summer, just protection from the relentless bugs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nabuckley/sets/72157627641546950/