This was an incredible hike on another beautiful day. Hidden Lake Peak has become my new all time favorite. 115 miles and 2:10 from Greenlake to the TH. With a late start (9:30 am) there were a dozen cars in the lot, and a Mountaineers hiking group milling about. Follow old roadbed to open forest. WTA volunteers did an awesome amount of boardwalk building through the swampy areas last summer. Break out into Sibley Creek valley. It’s very damp until crossing the creek, where it becomes extremely dry. The ferns have given up and laid down. Many steep switchbacks take you to the valley head. It was here at a dry creek crossing (5300’) where I left the trail, heading straight up to Sibley Pass. The going was easy, with an abundance of beautiful rocks in the drainage. At the pass a strong breeze blew the bugs away. It was here the views commenced, with Koma Kulshan, the Triad and El Dorado being the most obvious. 90 minutes to the pass. I also got a look at the 1000’ of boulder hopping I would get to do in order to summit. Follow a sort-of trail over a grassy hump, drop steeply, and let the class 2 playground begin. This was maximum fun, with my route wandering from side to side, and occasionally right on the ridge. I saw at least half a dozen heather or sand benches on the west side, perfect for watching a sunrise on Baker. About 150’ below the summit were two tent-size benches right on the ridge. The blocks were almost entirely stable, and there was no exposure. I only backtracked once. 60 minutes to the top. The summit: WOW! Words failed me as my head tried to keep up with my eyes. Torment, Forbidden, Boston, Sahale, Johannesberg, Formidable, Buckindy, Snowking, Dakobed, and those are just the ones close enough to touch. The tiniest summit PVC tube register ever turned out to be full. I took the register, and stuffed some note pages in there. A bigger PVC pipe and register are definitely warranted. A good hour passed, with only an occasional voice carrying over from the lookout, a half mile away, and 200’ lower. Eventually, I started scrambling down toward the trail where it intersects the gap. This ridge has more substantial tread marks, if being slightly trickier. It was another scrambly trail to the LO, which was packed full of people coming and going. 30 minutes summit to LO. After a look at a copy of an ancient logbook, with signatures of many famous hiking, climbing, and wilderness protection types, it was time to go. I jogged the regular trail most of the way back to the car. 90 minutes, top to bottom. It was great to see so many ladies, and young people on the trail. There were 21 cars in the lot when I left, and not one person up on the summit. 8 ½ mile loop, 4000’ cumulative gain, 6:10 car to car, 4:30 of actual hiking. I cannot stress how unbelievably gorgeous this area is.
didn't go to the lookout
Great day. We reached Sibley Pass and made little detour to climb Sibley Peak. Afterwards, climbed north ridge and looped out via Hidden Lake Peak Trail.
T.H to summit took 4hrs including the detour. Descent took little under 2 hours.
great views, and a nice side trail to Sibley Pass