Alpine Lookout, 9/23

A beautiful fall hike to a lonely fire lookout with views all around of lofty peaks under a dusting of new snow.

11 of us met up at the Green Lake Park and Ride and drove across Stevens Pass. We gathered the cars together at the Nason Creek Rest Area, then took the nearby, unmarked, forest service road up to the Round Mtn trailhead. Only a few other cars were there ahead of us. The trail first climbed steadily upwards, but never too steeply. Crossing a “ghost forest” of trees burnt some years back, there were nice autumn colors under a fair amount of sun. We arrived atop the ridge and turned left along the main Nason Ridge trail. Views of surrounding peaks started to appear through the trees and became clearer as we went up and down through some open meadows. We arrived at a lofty and narrow saddle from where the trail became a rocky, steep traverse. We shortly turned on to the side trail to the lookout and soon arrived at the summit.

We had lunch in front of the fire lookout, still occasionally manned, with great views of the Enchantments, Mts Stuart, Hinman and Daniel, plus many more, all covered with a fresh layer of snow. We would have lingered longer there except for a chilly breeze. It didn't take long to hike back down to our cars. We probably saw only a dozen other hikers the whole day and had the trailhead to ourselves for a pleasant apres-hike, a nice contrast to the crowds on better known trails.

Submitted: 10/01/17
Article By: Himes, Rex

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