On the second day of our stay at Twin Lakes we were both up at 5:00 while it was still dark and after a quick breakfast headed up the trail to the top of Winchester Mountain. About a third of the way up we stopped for nearly an hour to watch the sunrise over Mount Baker and the surrounding peaks.
signs at the beginning of the trail
Mount Baker before sunrise
Mount Baker again
sunrise over Big Bosom Butte
Winchester Mountain is 6,510 feet and there is an old fire lookout at the top of the mountain. The trail to the lookout is two miles and includes an elevation gain of 1,310 feet. The trail not only provided spectacular views but was also a good place to see the autumn color.
The first part of the trail switchbacks across the south slopes of Winchester Mountain. From the trail we could see our car and camp below and the views down to the lakes were incredible. Eventually, however, the trail took us through a saddle and around the other side of the peak.
our vehicle (the white van on the right)
trailhead, camp and road to Lone Jack Mine
setting moon and the saddle ahead
As we came around the west side of Winchester Peak we could once again see Mount Larrabee, the Pleiades, the Canadian Coastal Range and many of the other area peaks, as well as Tomyhoi Lake far below with Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan still visible behind us.
(we were on the highest knob in front of them the day before)
the Canadian Coastal Range
We found a small group camping at the fire lookout and on top of the peak and had to apologize for waking them, though the dog was awake and watching us even before we arrived at the top. The fire lookout is available on a first-come-first-serve basis to overnight hikers.
old fire lookout
After spending some time at the top of the mountain taking pictures we headed back down and were soon at camp where we packed up and started for home, stopping for some civilized food and drink on the way. We agreed that this was one of the top five hikes we had done and one to be done again.
Canadian Border Peak, American Border Peak, Mount Larrabee and High Pass
Canadian and American Border Peaks
High Pass and Gargett Mine
(the trails are visible at the bottom of the picture and in the basin above the shadows)
looking south from the top
back at Twin Lakes