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Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout

Whatcom County, Washington


Added by Felix Madrid

Stunning mountain viewsCozy cabin-like shelterWildlifeSolitude

This hike begins at the Twin Lakes trailhead in the North Cascades. Depending on your vehicles off-road capability and your comfort level you can either park at the Tomyhoi Lake trailhead lower on NF-3065 (and walk the road), or continue driving (2 miles) up to the Twin lakes parking lot. From the Twin Lakes parking lot the hike is a short but steep 2.1 miles to the top. You start the ascent at 5200ft walking though small evergreen trees and dense alpine blueberries. As you climb the first 500ft of elevation, the trail begins to increase in inclination. Look to the South to see Goat Mountain, and to the East at the Silesia Ridge line in the distance. Soon you will start a series of switchbacks that take you up to the SE facing rock face of Winchester Mountain. There is a short section that can be treacherous, especially if there is snow. Ice axes may be necessary. From this point you will wrap around the SW-W side of the mountain, and continue the final 400ft to the lookout at 6521 feet.

Important notes:There is no toilet at the summit. There are waste bags available in the lookout.Water can be made by melting snow, however in late summer when the snowpack has gone you must pack water with you.The lookout is a first come, first served system. There is a log book at the beginning of the trail so you will want to check to see if there are other hikers occupying the lookout before you plan to stay the night at the top.

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