Thorp Mountain Lookout (Jul 13-14, 2019)

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thorp_mtn_lo_coverConditions: backpack
Gear: overnight stuff
Map: USGS Kachess Lake
Area: Roslyn
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
Stats: 8.82
mi, 2463' gain (round trip)
Weather Forecast

Easy backpack trip...

I knew the hike into the lake wasn't far so we didn't get a super early start. We arrived at the trailhead (a wide spot in the road just up the road from the gate off the right side of the road, 3568'), parked, and finished packing. Several other cars were also parked here, most people looked like they we either day hiking to the lookout site or had fishing stuff and my guess was that they were headed to Little Joe Lake.

The first bit of the trail is on an old road. At about .43mi (3700') there was a marked trail heading off the left side of the road. This trail stays pretty flat as it follows Thorp Creek. Eventually the trail does need to head uphill and the grade steepened starting at about 1.4mi (3809').

We reached the lake trail junction at 2.4mi (4752') and headed down there to find a campsite. There were several people all around the lake, mostly people fishing. No problem, we snagged the large campsite to the right of the trail and set up our tent. After setting up camp (2.63mi, 4685'), we decided to sit down by the lake and have lunch before heading up to the lookout. A few mosquitoes out but nothing too bad.

After lunch we hiked back up to the junction and then continued uphill. Trail is steep but not too bad. We eventually reached the trail junction where the trail from No Name Ridge met up with our trail (3.71mi, 5147'), then another junction at a minor saddle on the south side of the lookout (4.17mi, 5382'). From this last junction the trail gets a bit steeper (but still not too bad) and the flowers went bonkers. The wildflower show this year has been crazy and Thorp Mtn didn't disappoint. We reached the lookout at about 4.58mi (5832').

There were a few other people at the top but we weren't in a rush to leave so it wasn't an problem waiting it out to get some quiet. Lots of flowers growing up around the lookout. I don't think I've ever hiked up to the lookout when the summer flowers are blooming. I'm usually up here when there is some snow lingering and the glacier lilies are the predominant flower.

We had plenty of quiet summit / lookout time. Eventually though it was time to head back down which we did around 4pm. It was a quick trip back down to the lake arriving just in time for a quiet dinner. All the people who had been at the lake fishing were gone. We had the lake to ourselves. Perfect! Mosquitoes were out but again, not bad because of the light breeze.

Sunday morning arrived and we took out time packing up camp and hiking back out to the car. Topped off the trip with lunch at The Brick in Roslyn!
Thorp Mountain Lookout Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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