Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Trip Reports Winchester Mountain

Trip Report

Winchester Mountain

North Cascades

Trip Report By

Hiked Aug 24, 2014

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition

Road

Road recommended for high clearance only

Bugs

Bugs were not too bad

Snow

Snow free
Went up late on Saturday night to camp and get up early for a sunrise hike. The road up to twin lakes parking lot is ROUGH! It isn't too bad until after Yellow Aster Butte TH, then I would recommend a high clearance vehicle, 4 wheel drive certainly helps. In spite of this being my recommendation, we still saw some 2 wheel drive sedans at the top, as well as passed a tow truck towing a van on the way down. When we arrived at the Twin Lakes parking lot/campground at about 7pm, all designated camping spots were taken, so if you're hoping to get a decent spot I would get there really early, especially on a weekend. We just pitched our tent right behind the Toyota in the parking lot and it worked fine for our goal, getting up for the sunrise! As far as the hike, we headed out at 5 am and took our time taking photos and enjoying the sunrise. This hike is one of the most beautiful and scenic hikes I have ever been on and I'm thinking about making it an annual event. The trail gets off to a consistent climb right away but isn't too difficult. A lot of switchbacks make for an easy grade and lots of great views the whole way up. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the top, but that was with lots of stopping to explore side trails. When we reached the top and the lookout there were some folks camping inside and outside the lookout. I was tempted to ask the couple inside making coffee if I could have some, it smelled so good! We took a pause for breakfast and enjoyed to 360 degree views. There is also a privy to the left of the lookout in case you gotta go (not very private though). Made it back down to the truck by about 9 am and headed home. This is such a wonderful hike and most of the work to get there is in the drive up, but so worth it. Loved every minute of it, especially since I don't get a chance to get out and experience something like this everyday. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place!