Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lookout Mountain Ridge

Al, Maggie, Peggy, Sue, Diane
Ten Senior Trailblazers went out on a new (to us) hike today, since our regularly scheduled one is in the midst of a logging operation. We drove to Sudden Valley and started at a trailhead at one end of Cain Lake, which took us along a southern ridge to the top of Lookout Mountain. We had been warned that it is "challenging," since it takes you along an old road, which turns into a steep, muddy trail that has been recently discovered by the mountain biking crowd. (Mountain bikes have a tendency to tear up a trail, to put it mildly.)
An old snag in the forest
Since it's been awhile since we had any significant rain, the trail was in good shape, other than having some very steep sections that were just loose dirt because of the trail bikes. We managed to make our way up, but without the trekking poles, I wouldn't have been able to navigate it. I tried to get a picture that shows just how UP it was. This is the best I could manage.
Gathering our strength for the steep uphill ahead
No, it's just not possible to capture how steep it actually is. We kept on going, even though we speculated about how difficult these sections would be going the opposite direction; since it's an "out and back," we knew we would find out. They were hard indeed, but at this point, going upward, we were pretty sure we would be getting some nice views.
Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters to the right
Yes! By the time we emerged from the forest onto the access road to the mountain top, there they were, our old friends, with a few clouds to make them even more interesting. We thought about stopping here and having lunch, but we decided to hike along the access road to the south summit, which, we discovered, doesn't have a view. After discovering this, we went back to the Mt. Baker view for lunch, but not before exclaiming and enjoying the view towards Bellingham and Lake Samish.
Me. with Lake Samish below me
What a beautiful view we had from this vantage point! I just spent some time trying to figure out exactly which direction is behind me (I am so bad at this). It's got to be west, since the mountains in the previous picture were to the east. We had a few high clouds, but nothing much, really. It was simply a beautiful day.
After lunch: Sue, Maggie, Peggy, Diane
We had a quick lunch and began our downward journey. Many of us were a little worried about all that loose dirt and possibilities for falls. But it turned out just fine; in fact, I had more trouble with my knee on the downward sections of the road than I did on the trails. We just went slowly, and everybody made it just fine.
On the way back to the cars
As usual, the return trip seemed much longer than the journey upwards. We covered almost ten miles today, with an elevation gain of at least 2,700 feet up and down. That's about the same distance as last week's hike, but with significantly more elevation gain and loss. And it turned out that everybody was in moderately good shape at the end, including me! Another successful day in the mountains with my BFFs!


  1. How lovely that you experienced a new hike, some glorious views, and that you all scrubbed up well afterwards. Congratulations.

  2. really great that the trail was in good shape for all of you and the weather was perfect, too, for a new hike. :)

  3. glad the going back down was not so bad for you...but you did get some nice views...what is up with that old it bird or wind damage?

  4. Beautiful view, indeed! I am so glad you didn't suffer too much from this trek. I wish I had half your stamina.

  5. The view alone is worth all the effort. Besides that you get exercise and time with good friends. Good times.

  6. That was a heavy hike in miles and elevation! You are your cohorts are amazing.

  7. It's good to hear everyone was fine after the trek down, that can be rough on the knees. Those views are gorgeous!

    I am bad with directions too. You've got me wondering if there is a compass app.

  8. What a fun day! I'm glad you had the trekking poles. I've learned they really help to keep your balance.

  9. Forgot to tell you how much I love your photos. I especially like the one of the mountains and of course of you with that beautiful vista behind you.

  10. Bad knee, down hill, jolt jolt jolt is always worse for a really bad knee. I used to have to slalom down a real steep golf course here in "Bluff Country...:
    btw based on your comments I think I'd dislike mountain bikers destruction of trail as much as the ATVers around here. Ugh,

  11. That view from the top must have made the climb worthwhile.

  12. DJan, you should follow up on that blog2book thing as your pictures alone could sell books! Not to mention all your wonderful commentary. There will be a day when these hikes may become too much for you.... (way in the future of course) and what memories it would preserve for you (and possibly your fellow hikers).

  13. Going down is harder. It use to tear up my toes. So glad you had such a great day and got to enjoy your lovely mountains. That view is worth the trip.

  14. That is some view! Beautiful! You take a nice photo too! :)

  15. A new hiking area...beautiful for sure...and quite a few senior hikers showed up and accepted the uphill challenge.

    ....what VIEWS!! Gorgeous.

    [and I love your purple scarf DJ!]

  16. Wow, this looks very steep! But what a gorgeous view.


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