We hiked the shorter trail, only 2.1 miles, to the summit. Ran into snow about halfway up, but it wasn't much, just sparse patches. Definitely no need for snow shoes. Views were incredible!!! We rented the lookout tower for two nights. Days were sunny and cold and night were colder and left a layer of snowflakes all over. It was breathtaking!
With Luna. Chatted with the lookout personnel at the top for a while. Got the updated storm info and signed their logbook. Luna worked them with kisses for attention. Beat the rain down and then headed to Jackson Creek Campground.
Hiked up with two other friends and stayed at the lookout for 3 great nights. Stormy and windy most of the time, but we didn't mind being "trapped" up on the peak with a nice hot fire and decent food. The hike up only took a couple hours and the hike down took even less, especially for the one friend that carried a snowboard to the top. Beautiful views for the few minutes the clouds did break.
Had a wonderful time with my 2 good friends and my father. Started out late morning and summited within 4 hours each time. Something about breaking your own trail that gives this hike a backcountry feel even though you are following the markers on the trees. Had trouble opening the door as the lock was froze shut both times (nothing a lighter won't fix). How nice it was to get that wood stove roar'n and cook up a hot meal on the stove. Stayed up late paying cards to see who would have to go get the next batch of snow for melting water, wood for the fire, carry the garbage bag down the next day, and most importantly who would get the beds for the night. Had winter storms both times which make you that much more greatful for the accomidations. Love the trip and will do it again.