Hiked up from E Bank TH with a friend. 45+ miles in four days.
Took the trail from Ross Lake past the junction with the Hozomeen Lake trail. Spent the next 3+ hours bushwhacking through downfall and brush up to Point 5967. Followed a faint booth path towards Desolation, and gained the summit ridge through a break in the north face cliffs. Intense smoke from nearby wildfires greatly obscured our view. More or less retraced our steps on the way down. 13 hours round-trip. A very long day, 10 hours or so spent in the trees. A bit disorienting at times!
Tried to hike up to the fire lookout a couple of years ago from Hozomeen but couldn't quite swing the full distance. This year we canoed in and stayed at Cat Island. Took our time and did Desolation as a day hike. Fantastic views up there, I can see why this trail is so popular!
Did it twice this summer with my students from North Cascades Wild. Wonderful - a great mix between elevation gain, views all around, and lots to learn from the fire lookout, Daniel, up there!
The boat approach made this a unique hike. This peak might have the most scenic trail head I have ever seen. Also, I enjoyed the company of the group so much that I think it was my favorite part of the trip.
Excellent views, weather, companions. WA P3k 17/52
As far as one-day trips go, I could not have envisioned or asked for anything much better than our experience...
The first awesome warm weather day of Spring, team-operated boat rides, trail walking, snowy ridge, a fire lookout, the most fantastic far-ranging views I have ever seen from one location in the North Cascades, and absolutely wonderful hiking/boating partners to share the experience with. One of the best experiences I have ever had in the Washington Cascades. Period.
Two of us then summited Mount Baring the following day, making the weekend have approximately 10,000' total elevation gain. Woohoo!
Best hike of the year, so far...
This is one of my all-time favorite hikes. I went up alone, and as it was still fairly early in summer, the lookout cabin was locked up. There was no one out hiking, no boats on Ross Lake, hardly anyone even at the floating cabins. With the exception of the flies, it was total solitude and silence at the peak...a really great memory.
Did the first time as a boy scout on a canoe trip on Ross Lake. Did the second time as a troop leader with my troop during a canoe outing. Maps and pics at http://www.willhiteweb.com/washington_climbing/desolation_peak/ross_lake_034.htm
Kayaked in from the north end of the lake. The lookout was already locked up, but we were rewarded with excellent views of the Hozomeen Peaks.
A beautiful mountain with wonderful views...Hozomeen to the north, Ross Lake to the west, Jack Mountain to the south...
I accessed the mountain via water taxi ($110), thereby shaving off a considerable amount of hiking. Still, the hike gained 4800 feet in 4 miles lake to summit. Worth every ounce of effort.