A wonderful place to study for a statistics midterm.
Road and trailhead:
Located in a subalpine setting within the Mt. Baker Wilderness and with views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and the Picket Range, Winchester Mountain Lookout (elev 6,521 ft) is a popular destination with hikers. The 14x14' L-4 ground house was built in 1935 and staffed until 1966. It fell into disrepair but in 1982 the Mt. Baker Club obtained a special use permit to restore and maintain the structure, which is open to the public. It is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
The lookout is always open for individuals who want to stay overnight. There are cots, propane, and a few cooking utensils. If you want, feel free to take "supplies" up and donate them to the club. Bring your own water and sleeping bags. The lookout does not take reservations and is mostly visited during the months July-September because of snow.
rom Winchester Mountain, views are spectacular, including Tomyhoi, Border Peaks, Larrabee, The Pleiades, Slesse, Canadian Cascades, Spickard, Redoubt, Copper, Pickets, Granite, Ruth, Icy, Sefrit, Goat, Shuksan, Baker, and much much more. The lookout is on the far right of the photo in front of Baker. The radial diagram below lists the peaks you can see in order of magnetic declination.
Okay, now for some photos from a wintertime hike up to the lookout!
PHOTOS: THE APPROACH
(Click on images to enlarge)
|The road was clear until around 3000ft, about 2 miles before the Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead. From there, it was a pleasant snowshoe on road, and then up the avalanche chute to the Lookout. Snow always makes things pretty. (Note that on a usual winter, you can probably expect snow from the start of the road; but due to Murphy's Law and the fact the winter Olympics have come to Vancouver, snow seems to have gone on strike this year.)|
The approach route.
The approach route as seen from Goat Mtn, by gimpilator on summitpost.org.
Up the avalanche chute.
Views of Shuksan and Baker.
Views of Baker.
The final ridge to the summit.
PHOTOS: THE HIKE OUT
(Click on images to enlarge)
|The hike out just reversed the hike in. Clouds had thickened overnight and it snowed lightly. I took photos of the many wet slides on the route (I wouldn't hike up here in high slide danger) and the cool perfect 6-pointed snowflakes.|
Perfect snowflakes. (These are called Stellar Dendrites, and form at temps around 28°F in relatively moist air. Snowflake formation is complex and varied, but in general drier air would tend to form plates, and cooler air would tend to form needles and prisms. See here for more discussion.)
This berm used to block the road before an adventurous 4x4 and unseasonable lack of snow made it passable.
Future Visits to Lookout
On a brilliant autumn morning in late September 2012 I hiked to the lookout with my parents. The fall colors rimmed the trail with reds and oranges. The area takes on a totally different character in the summer and fall, when the road can be driven to the trailhead at Twin Lakes and hikers and campers abound in this popular short dayhike destination. Below are a couple of photos I took in September 2012.
I visited Winchester Lookout for a third time in November 2014 with my friends Matt, Tom, Carla, Barbara, Elle, and Izzy (Elle's dog). After hiking the snowy trail to High Pass, we hiked up to the lookout. There was enough new snow that we had to walk up the upper Twin Lakes road and use micro-spikes, but not enough snow to make snowshoes necessary. Below are some photos I took in November 2014.