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Hidden Lake Peaks

July 20, 2008. By chance, I noticed that Sibley Creek Road had just re-opened for the first time in over a year. So my planned backpack to Hidden Lake Peaks turned into a easy day trip. However, the Lookout that is ontop of one peak was so outrageously awesome, that I really wished I didn't have to go to work the next day. All-in-all, the sweeping views of the Cascades are the best I've seen yet. And that means I will have to come back. :)

The "fixed" road to the trail-head is still a typical pot-hole-ridden, rock-laden, brush-covered North Cascades road (TM), but my passenger car managed to arrive at the trail-head by 10 AM. Instead of following the trail, I went up to the ridge north of the 7088 ft. high point and then traversed to the Lookout, tagging 3 peaks along the way. I took a good 2 hour nap in a most comfortable bed before heading back via the normal trail. A party of two heading up in the late afternoon were the only people I saw all day, despite the fact that there were four cars at in the parking lot when I returned at 7 PM. (10+ miles round trip, 3500+ ft. gain)

Sibley Creek Basin

[Slightly Overgrown]
Slightly Overgrown: As expected for a trail that hadn't been used in over a year, it was a bushy, there were a few blow-downs, and some steeper parts of the trail were pretty eroded.
[Valerian]
[Valerian (1)][Valerian (2)][Valerian (3)]
Valerian: The flowers at the bottom of the basin hadn't started coming out yet, but near the top, they were in full bloom. This first shot is from later in the afternoon on my way back.
[Bouquet]
[Bouquet (1)][Bouquet (2)][Bouquet (3)][Bouquet (4)]
Bouquet: Take your pick of flowers. (1) Tiger lillies. (2) Spiraea. (3) Orange paintbrush and some purple things. (4) Just sprouting near the creek bed.
[Scramble]
Scramble: I scrambled up the snow field between the leftmost two bumps shown here. The 7088 ft. high point is above the rocks on the right side of this photo. This picture was taken from the normal trail on my way back.

The Ridge

[Hidden Lake Peak 1]
[Hidden Lake Peak 1 (1)]
Hidden Lake Peak 1: 360 panorama from the first ~6300 ft. bump I submitted just to get my bearings. The northeast face of the 7088 ft. high point is shown in the middle. Had I known where I was when I arrived on the ridge, I probably would have hit the 6500 ft. point that begins the ridge to the Triad, shown here on the left, but I didn't want to backtrack. (1) Scrambling to the high point. Much of the way was on boulders, but there were a few nice flat snow patches like this too.
[Hidden Lake Peak 2]
[Hidden Lake Peak 2 (1)][Hidden Lake Peak 2 (2)][Hidden Lake Peak 2 (3)][Hidden Lake Peak 2 (4)]
Hidden Lake Peak 2: 360 panorama from the 7088 ft. high point. The summit block requires a class 3 move or two, but is otherwise strait forward to obtain. The sweeping views from Eldorado to the Ptarmigan Traverse to Snow King, and back down to Marblemount are awesome. The Lookout is on the near peak in the middle of the panorama. More detailed panoramas: (1) North: Dorado Needle, Tepeh Towers, Eldorado, The Triad (front), Torment, Forbidden, Boston, and Sahale. (2) South: Sonny Boy Lakes area, Glacier Peak, Mount Buckindy, and Snowking. (3) East: Johannesburg, Hurry-up, Spider, Formidable, Old Guard, Sentinel, Sinister, and Dome. (4) Northwest: The Pickets, Terror, Inspiration, McMillian Spire, Elephant Buette, the Needle, the Horsemen, and Snowfield Peak.
[Peak Profiles]
[Peak Profiles (1)][Peak Profiles (2)][Peak Profiles (3)][Peak Profiles (4)][Peak Profiles (5)][Peak Profiles (6)]
Peak Profiles: Boston, Sahale, and the Quien Sabe Glacier. (1) Dorado Needle, Tepeh Towers, and Eldorado, with the Triad in front. (2) Torment and Forbidden. (3) Johannesburg. (4) Glacier Peak. (5) Baker. (6) Shuksan.
[Hidden Lakes]
[Hidden Lakes (1)][Hidden Lakes (2)]
Hidden Lakes: Upper and lower Hidden Lakes still snowed over. (1) Self-panorama. (2) Looking back at the peak from the saddle to the Lookout.
[To the Lookout]
[To the Lookout (1)][To the Lookout (2)][To the Lookout (3)]
To the Lookout: Between the boulders, there's a nice climber's trail between the high peak and the Lookout peak. Shown here with some heather. (1-3) Zooming in on the Lookout.
[Flowers and Peaks]
[Flowers and Peaks (1)][Flowers and Peaks (2)][Flowers and Peaks (3)][Flowers and Peaks (4)][Flowers and Peaks (5)]
Flowers and Peaks: Some shots of flowers on the ridge and the Hidden Lake Peaks. Here's some Heather and Lupine with Snowking. (1) More Lupine with Snowking. (2) Heather with Baker. (3) Heather with the Ptarmigan Traverse and Glacier Peak. (4) Pink stuff with Torment, Forbidden, Boston, and Sahale. (5) Pink stuff and the Lookout summit.

The Lookout

[House on a Hill]
House on a Hill: More like a mountain. This thing must have been a bitch to build. (Thank you :)
[Room with a View]
[Room with a View (1)][Room with a View (2)][Room with a View (3)]
Room with a View: Unbelievable. And it's free (well, first come, first serve). (1) A Kitchen too. (2) Sure beats a bivy sack. (3) Don't really want to leave.
[More Panoramas]
[More Panoramas (1)][More Panoramas (2)][More Panoramas (3)]
More Panoramas: Some more panoramas of the same-old-stuff from a new summit. After my nap, the lighting was a bit better, so I included these as well. Here's Snowking. (1) Ptarmigan Traverse and Glacier Peak. (2) West of Eldorado. (3) East of Eldorado.
[More Lake Shots]
[More Lake Shots (1)][More Lake Shots (2)][More Lake Shots (3)][More Lake Shots (4)][More Lake Shots (5)]
More Lake Shots: Some shots of lower Hidden Lake from the Lookout. (1) The Lake, the View, and the House. (2) Nice camp site at the west end of the lake. (3) Breaking up. (4) Drainage to the east. (5) One more shot from another angle, on the way back.

Heading Back

[The Trail]
[The Trail (1)][The Trail (2)][The Trail (3)]
The Trail: Had I known that this upper part of the trail was in such good condition, I might have opted to ascend the normal way and traverse the ridge the other way so I could have glissaded down. Here's some Lupine as I leave the Lookout. (1) Passing back west over the ridge. (2) View of several ridges from the trail. (3) This ridge sort of reminded me of the Flatirons in Boulder, CO.
[Almost Home]
Almost Home: With the sun low in the west, I descended into the Sibley Creek Basin. Surprisingly, the hike out didn't feel long and boring at all. Maybe I should take more naps during hikes. :)

Last modified: Nov 27, 2011