3.4m 1,300ft gain
A short and steep hike to an absolutely incredible 360 degree view of the North Cascades. The toughest part of the hike is getting there. You’ll want a high clearance 4×4 vehicle. The hike starts at Twin Lakes a popular ‘secret’ car camping spot. It makes for a perfect sunset/sunrise camping location especially if you hike up to the old fire lookout on Winchester Mountain, its first come first serve.
1st Trip: 7/21/19
Boys weekend with my buddy Pierre, his dog Gizmo and Moose!
Before we hiked up Winchester Mountain we spent our Saturday hiking nearby. We started with Heliotrope Ridge on Mount Baker. 5.5m 1,400ft gain. This gentle hike takes you up right next to the Coleman Glacier with the summit of Koma Kulshan towering above. Difficulty depends on the season but expect to get your feet or paws wet no matter when you go.
Pierre had injured his knee after a Rainier climb so we didn’t push it and took a nice long break at an amazing viewpoint. Hard not to stare at the wicked crevasses and seracs.
After a nice long break we retraced our steps and dreamed of a Mount Baker climb. We also admired the wildflowers and how small people looked standing next to the Coleman Glacier.
From there we drove an hour down the Mount Baker Highway to Picture Lake. There is a flat half mile paved path around the lake for everyone to enjoy the incredible reflection of Mount Shuksan. It’s such a beautiful mountain!
Back in the car we continued past the incredible Mount Baker Ski Area to the road’s dead end at Artist Point. Artist point is a great winter snowshoe but also a great easy walk for all ages in the summer. We took the mile path up Huntoon Point for more gorgeous views.
From there we made the gnarly drive up to Twin Lakes to find a place to camp. Options were limited so we made a spot close to the second lake. When you first arrive there are a few great spots you can walk to with views of Mount Baker.
There was enough room in my 3 person Zpacks tent for Moose’s bed so he slept comfortably. Pierre’s knee was very sore so just Moose and I would set off on a summit sunrise mission the next day. Sunday the sun rose a little after 5am so we ran up Winchester Mountain in 40 minutes getting there right at 5am! Someone was sleeping in the lookout and someone else in a tent so we were quiet but it felt like we had the summit to ourselves. We ate our breakfast and took lots of pictures of the surrounding beauty.
After almost an hour of magic we headed back down to Twin Lakes.
When we arrived back at the tents Pierre and Gizmo were still asleep so we took a little rest before packing up. There was an awesome reflection of Winchester in the lake.
Our boy’s weekend was a success! Can’t wait to do it again, just need to get Pierre’s knee back in working order.