Outdoor and Travel Adventures
This 7 mile section of the Burke Gilman Trail takes you along the northwest shore of Lake Washington. The route described starts at Magnuson Park in North Seattle and ends at Log Boom Park in Kenmore. Along the way, there is only one other access point to the waterfront of Lake Washington, and that is at Matthews Beach Park. For most of the way, there is a row of homes between you and the water. Views are sporadic between homes or over the roofs of homes.
Kiona Peak is one of the great vantage points in the Cowlitz Valley, with a prominence of over 1,500 feet. But it's the history that makes Kiona Peak so great. In 1917 the first lookout station in the Rainier National Forest was constructed on the summit requiring explosives to blast off a piece of the top to find a large enough space. The site was abandoned in 1963 and is nearly forgotten today as its access is rather difficult due to locked logging roads.
This is the second lookout built on Watch Mountain, built in 1963 at the end of lookout construction days. This present 14 x14 foot DNR flattop cab with catwalk is not used for anything fire related.
This lookout site remains relatively unchanged from its time of use, which is extremely unusual in such a low elevation site. The lookout was built in 1933. It was an L-4 ground cab (see picture on page) that lasted until around the early 1960's. This old site probably gets just a few visitors per decade.
More Former Lookouts
Chasing the quest to visit all 700+ former lookout sites in Washington. These 6 are on the east side of the Cascades in the Okanogan area.
One of the most popular trails in the Wild Sky Wilderness is Beckler Peak. It has a relatively new trail up to the east peak. But from the east peak, cliffs block access to the historic west peak which once had a fire lookout station. Well, there is now a trail up to this lookout site, using what I will call the west peak trail. Old logging roads have been utilized for making an extremely nice route to reach high on the west ridge and then connect with the old lookout trail near the summit.
Every former lookout site is unique and this one hits high on the charts. The lookout is still there....although in shambles on the ground. In 2008, the lookout was discovered toppled over. Some suspect the leg clamps were loosened and it was intentionally brought down. Maybe so, considering the roof was blown off during the winter of 2006/07. Other sites visited this day include:
Mount Bonaparte is the highest peak in the mountains just east of the Okanogan River in NE Washington. It stands alone with 3,537 feet of prominence. This makes it the 31st most prominent mountain in Washington State, and 230th in the lower 48 states. Its the third highest peak in all of NE Washington.
Columbia River Gorge Hikes
Spent a full day hiking around old and current lookout sites in the South Cascades, while my family was in the Columbia River Gorge.
One of the most popular destinations in the backcountry of the Glacier Peak Wilderness is Image Lake. It's reflection of Glacier Peak is as iconic as Mt. Shuksun & Picture Lake or Mt. Rainer & Reflection Lake. Image Lake attracts photographers, fisherman, lake lovers, and nearly every backpacker at some point in their hiking lifetime. Surrounded my meadows and endless wandering on high ridges above, Image Lake is a worthy destination, but you will have to work for it.
With nearly 2,000 feet of prominence, Plummer Mountain is a big mass rising at the far east end of the popular Miners Ridge. The summit makes for a nice half-day outing if camping at Image Lake in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Its south slopes are generally tame but the north side is quite dramatic.
Paddling around Blake Island is possible from many directions but this particular trip is from access at Manchester, a much shorter water crossing than from King County. Manchester has a nice boat launch and park. The Port of Manchester has a small launch fee with a machine that takes credit cards. Unfortunately, no overnight parking is allowed.
3 More Washington State Parks
Lookouts Near Spokane
Spent a couple of days at the Forest Fire Lookout Association gathering at the Fire Museum in Spokane. Some lookouts were VIP tours, others were on our own.
More Former Lookouts - Central Cascades
One near Greenwater, two near Snoqualmie Pass.
Divide Ridge stretches for miles south of Rimrock Lake and the Tieton Basin. Located at Jumpoff Point on the divide, at the north end is the former lookout called Jumpoff, the last remaining lookout in the Naches Ranger District. The Jumpoff Lookout is at a point with sheer cliffs to the north, east and west.
More Former Lookouts - Cascades
Two near Mt. Baker, two in the Gifford Pinchot.
Trip includes 4 More Washington State Parks visited
Often referred to as the poor mans San Juan's, kayaking in the Southwest Puget Sound can offer an excellent paddling experience.
Granite Peak - Montana State Highpoint
The highest peak in the state of Montana is Granite Peak, located in the south central part of the state in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. It is considered one of the hardest state highpoints, and it was my last state highpoint to do of any difficulty.
One of the best viewpoints in Yellowstone National Park is a hike to the top of Mount Washburn, the most central summit in the park. Although the park would list it as strenuous for its visitors, for most hikers it would be considered easy. The summit offers panoramic views of about 20 to 50 miles in all directions, including the Teton Range to the far south.
There was also time for this short hike in the park....
I've been looking to do this for a long time. I've scanned several years worth of slides from my old Troop 333 campouts. Its been lots of fun to look back and see the kinds of things we did and remind myself of the early years when the mountains were still mysterious. This is when the backcountry adventures began, as well as when the learning curve was its most extreme. Getting hypothermia at least once, sleeping bags falling off packs, broken gear, inadequate gear, so glad to have learned it all here before I got into the even more adventurous stuff later on.
Located on the high plateau between White Pass and Bumping Lake, in an area known for many lakes and meadows is a cinder cone volcano. The volcano is located all alone far removed from other mountains so it has over 1,100 feet of prominence. Tumac Mountain was named after two Macs, McDuff and McAdam, Scottish sheepherders.
The specific location of the West Fork Tilton lookout could have easily disappeared without a trace. Thankfully, the lookout site views were photographed in 1934. After several hours of comparison work on Google Earth, I found the location located at a 4-way road intersection.