Hiking, North Cascades

Hidden Lake Lookout

Now onto a much better hike, this time chosen by Dani, who – strangely – doesn’t seem to hate us even after the Bullshizz Bushwhack.

Delirious Dani

Hidden Lake Lookout is her favorite trail, and after years of talking about hiking there together, we finally did it this weekend.

This is Dani's favorite trail

The trail wends through flowering meadows (in late September – this is a strange year), lingering snow (strange year indeed) and big piles of rocks before reaching the old fire lookout, perched atop the somewhat sinister-looking peak that Dani refers to as the Eye of Sauron:

Approaching Mordor

There’s also a lake, hence the name Hidden Lake Lookout. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it would have meant extra elevation gain) we couldn’t go swimming since the lake itself is inside the national park boundary where dogs aren’t allowed.

Hidden Lake

Luckily pooches are permitted all the way up to the lookout, so Wellie and Jasper could enjoy the spectacular views of the North Cascades.

FKNA Hidden Lake Lookout

Wellie and Jasper are usually excellent friends until a) Wellie decides that Jasper is too close to his food or b) Jasper’s herding instinct takes over. Good thing Wellie is much faster than that stout bastard.

Wellie and Jasper touching fur Save me, paaaaapaaaaaaaa!

Summit! (Please don’t fall.)

Please don't fall

The views from the lookout were incredible – the next time we go here, it will hopefully be to spend the night. Sleeping in the Park Butte Lookout stands out as one of my favorite hiking experiences, so I don’t know why we haven’t made the effort to snooze in more of these fantastic shacks.

Can we live here?

The number one (or number two, depending on your needs) reason to visit Hidden Lake Lookout? The most glorious toilet experience you will ever have. Now that’s what I call poo with a view.

Poo with a view

After eating, relaxing and gawking at the peaks in every direction, we moseyed back down towards the car.

Looking for marmots

The weather had been perfectly summery all day, but on the way out a big, grey cloud started moving in and we even felt some raindrops. I guess it really was the first hike of autumn, even though the trail was lined with wildflowers instead of huckleberries (seriously, it’s been a strange year).

It's almost too pretty

Hidden Lake Lookout | 9 miles | 3300 feet elevation gain –

What's with all the elevation gain from the toilet?

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  • Reply Ewa September 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I totally agree, it has been a strange year. Flowers in the Sierras have no intention of stopping to bloom and the old snow, where usually there is no snow even in July, will probably stay till winter.
    Love the Eye of Sauron, and the toilet with the view – priceless.

  • Reply Lisa September 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

    What a picture-perfect hike. The water looks like a mirror.

    Poor puppy! It looks like he’s running for his life!

  • Reply Libby September 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Wow, what an amazing place. Incredible. And how awesome that you can take the pups.

  • Reply Elvis September 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Great post Ingunn! Love the dogs chasing each other and it’s good that you made it out before the rain caught you. Looks like I’ll have to finish that hike next year.


  • Reply Kelsey October 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    That is the world’s best loo in the world!

  • Reply jill i October 24, 2011 at 10:22 am

    OMG what a gorgeous hike! I’m bookmarking this for next summer – I fear it might have snowed there by now with the heavy rains this morning and temps dropping to the 30s tonight. When I flew back from Italy on 10/14, we came in over the North Cascades (glorious!) and saw lots of fresh snow. Thanks for finding your way to my blog and posting!

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