Hidden Lake Lookout*

NC Hidden Lake (4)

Date: 09/08/2014

Location: Near Marblement, WA (North Cascades National Park)

Distance: 8 – 9 miles RT

Elevation: 3300ft

Highest Point: 6900ft

NC Hidden Lake - Meadows (2)

meadows shortly after coming out of forest

NC Hidden Lake - Meadows (1)

Jeannette and I embarked on this very demanding trail on a cloudy morning. After traversing through first miles of forest, the trail opened up to lush meadows with wild flowers in full bloom. As we climbed up, rich huckleberry bush availed themselves.

Above the tree line, boulder fields became the dominant trail features, and a section of trail was still snow-covered.  I was misled by an errand cairn off trail to a rocky slope resulting in close calls sliding off the slope for both of us.

NC Hidden Lake Trail (1)

Boulder field dominate the last 1/3 of the trail

NC Hidden Lake Trail (2) NC Hidden Lake Trail (15) NC Hidden Lake Trail (39)

Our nerves shaken, we almost turned back.  Fortunately, we rediscovered  the trail with the aid of a couple other hikers, and was able to reach the lake overlook to have a refreshing lunch.  Re-energized, we decided to embark on the last few hundred feet of climbing to the Lookout.

NC Hidden Lake Trail (8)

final push towards the Lookout

NC Hidden Lake (2)

View from overlook

NC Hidden Lake Trail (9)

With some boulder scrambling, we arrived at the Lookout – impossibly perched at the very tip of the talus.

NC Hidden Lake LO (5) NC Hidden Lake LO (7) NC Hidden Lake LO (10) NC Hidden Lake LO (11)

Downhill trip was thankfully uneventful, just knee jarring.

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