Sometimes, we just need to get out, get away from the city and pack as much of the Washington wilderness into our weekend as we can. This weekend was tackled with that mentality. Friday evening, we took off and decided to drive all the way up to the Twin Lakes area and set up camp that night. I was with two of our friends while my boyfriend had headed up a few hours earlier with another of our buddies. The drive to Twin Lakes once you hit the forest service road is….interesting. Apparently it’s rated one of the roughest green roads in Washington. It a steep road with super tight switchbacks and berms to navigate as well. I’m kinda thankful that we did it at night as we had no idea what lay below us. As we drove back down on Sunday evening, we all kind of had an ‘oh shit’ moment when we saw what the road actually was. The best part was, once we got up to Twin Lakes there was a Honda CRV and I swear a Geo Metro up there. I commend them. We arrived around midnight and immediately went to bed.

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Saturday morning view

It was COLD. It’s early September at this point and the some of the snow from the previous winter had still not melted, so if the sun wasn’t out, it was a chilly one. To bide some of our time, before hiking up to Winchester Peak for sunset, we attempted some fishing and did some exploring around camp.

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Fish on

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That evening we headed out to hike up to Winchester Lookout to catch the sunset. The hike wasn’t super hard, 3.5mi round trip, and the views as you go higher and higher made you appreciate where you were. As views of Mt. Baker, Larrabee, American and Canadian Border Peaks came into view, it made you realize how many more mountains there are out there to summit and explore. The lookout was packed with people that were staying over night that weekend. Most of the time  The fog and clouds kept drifting in an out creating really cool light and shadows on the horizon. At the last bit of light, the sun illuminated the mountains in purples and pinks and bec
ame the epic backdrop for our group REI cover shot.

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View down onto Twin Lakes from Winchester Peak trail

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Plotting and scheming

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The next day we were rewarded with bright sun and a cloudless sky. We headed out to make the hike over High Pass and check out the views of Mount Larrabee. The trail was riddled in switch backs that overlooked the valley below. As we crested over the pass, Ben had decided that he would take a ‘quick jaunt’ up to the up to the shoulder of Larrabee to snag a view of the Pleiades while the rest of us elected to stay back and explore the old mine that that was in the next valley over. We saw very few other hikers, but that few that we did come across had been camping back in the High Pass area. There seems to be numerous spots to set up a camp if you’re up for a more involved backpacking mission. We met back up with Ben and headed back down to pack up camp.

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Looking up to Mount Larrabee

Whenever someone asks me where they should go for a weekend camp trip, I always suggest this area if they have the ways and means. It’s a great area to set up home base and explore in a million different directions and get some amazing views of the North Cascades.


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