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 Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA

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Male Join date : 2010-12-22
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA   Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:01 pm

Whitehorse Mt. from Highway 530

My brother and I visited relatives in Marblemount, WA, last week.
We stayed in a motel and did three day hikes.

On the drive up, the mountains hid in fog.
Some backpackers we met told us it had snowed up high the night before.

But Thursday morning dawned clear and we headed up to Hidden Lake Lookout.
After a long, steep narrow road approach, he trail switchbacks up in a forest.
Then it ascends a vertical meadow and crosses Sibley Creek several times.

vertical meadow below Sibley Creek Pass

Near the top of the meadow, the trail traverses heather and tarns across rocks.
Some snow is still in gullies as the trail ascends the pass.
The lookout comes into sight atop a precipice to the SE.

Hidden Lake Lookout

At the pass, we entered North Cascades National Park.
I had not brought Bodhi because I did not want a ticket entering the park with him.
However several dog owners I met on the trail told me they had inquired at the park headquarters about dogs and were told the prohibition was not enforced for the 1/4 mile up to the lookout.

Crossing over to east side of the pass exposes Hidden Lake with Eldorado and Boston Basin beyond.
What a view!

Hidden Lake, Eldorado Mt. and the Boston Basin

From the pass, the trail switchbacks up on dirt ledges to the east shoulder of the peak.
When we reached the shoulder, we climbed over big boulders to the summit.
Dogs couldn't make it from this point, so I guess it was OK I hadn't brought Bodhi.
We saw a small dog that had been carried to the summit, and two that couldn't navigate the boulder climbing.

The lookout has amazing views.
It is decommissioned, but maintained by volunteers.
A couple and professional photographer who had spent the night were just leaving when we arrived.
They had taken engagement photos as the sun rose over peaks to the east and the Stehekin Valley.
We channelled our inner Jack Kerouac as we ate lunch.

in the lookout

The descent off Hidden Peak had rendered our legs rubbery, so the next day we opted for a woods walk.
We walked four miles  and returned down relatively flat Thunder Creek in the North Cascades NRA.
It was quiet and beautiful.
We saw very few people.
I could have brought Bodhi here too, because dogs are allowed in NRA's.

Thunder Creek

On our last day, our legs were fine, but we we constrained by time as we had to check out of our motel and return to Seattle.
The motel let us store our duffle bags and cooler.
We drove a couple miles down Highway 20 to Rockport, and then the long gravel road to the trailhead for Sauk Mt.
This is a short and very popular hike that I have done several times before.
We started at nine.

A big group of 12 was above us on the switchbacks that we could see all the way to the summit ridge from the parking lot.
We met four bear hunters returning to their trucks, discouraged that so many hikers were on the trail.
We had no idea it was bear season, and didn't have any blaze orange.

Mindful that a hiker had been mistakenly killed by teenage bear hunters on Sauk Mt. in 2008, we were glad they turned around.
However, we were a little skittish as we could hear shooting in the woods below us as we hiked.
Every hiker we passed seemed to have a dog.
This hike was in a national forest where dogs are allowed.

The trail winds upward in a series of switchbacks, generally facing south and east above the Skagit River.

my bro, Three Fingers Mt. and the Skagit River

This slope is a riot of wildflowers (and black flies) earlier in the season, but was dried out and flowers were winding down.
At the top of the switchback slope, the trail attains the ridge and winds around a shoulder dotted with firs.
Views open up to the north and Sauk Lake below.

Sauk Lake

Then the trail ascends to the north through crumbly rock to the site of a former lookout.
Mt. Baker is prominent to the NW.

2 bros on top with Mt. Baker in background

The Picket Range can be seen in the distant far north.

Picket Range

After lunch on the summit, we scurried down to my truck, passing myriads starting up in the mid-day heat.
Then we returned to the motel, picked up our stuff and drove to Seattle via Highway 20 and I-5.
Thai food and beer is always a good combo after hiking!

The take-away from this trip is that I probably could have brought Bodhi.
It wasn't too hot for him, and I could have taken him on all the hikes.
He might not have made the summit at Hidden Lake, but my brother and I could have taken turns at going for the top.
All in all, it was an excellent hiking adventure.
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA   Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:07 pm

Oh Michael - what wonderful pictures.  Enough to make me ponder moving out west...though there are the grandchildren here...

Funny you should mention Jack Kerouac - I mentioned him to hubby during a movie the other night, and hubby being a youngster, relatively, I had to explain who Kerouac was...I'm getting old Rolling Eyes
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Husky Stalker

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA   Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:04 pm

I love your trip updates and that picture of Hidden Lake, Eldorado Mt. and the Boston Basin is fantastic! nice to see you in some pictures as well Wink

sucks you could have brought Bodhi but it was good you erred in caution unlike me a few weeks ago taking my 2 up something they should not have been on and cost me the summit Sad

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Male Join date : 2010-12-22
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA   Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:08 pm

Jen: You didn't make any comments about my cool new hat!
Everyone in my family has been kidding me about it.

I've a problem with sun lotion dripping into my eyes when I sweat.
Then I can't see, and my eyes burn the rest of the day.
My dermatologist said to get a hat with a big brim.
Then I don't have to put the lotion on my forehead (except when I am on snow).
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Husky Stalker

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Hiking without Dogs: Marblemount, WA   Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:51 pm

I guess its cause i have a cool hat just like that and its the norm here in CO Smile

i always use a super-sport sunscreen that should not run and or burn my eyes, that is the worst.

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