Hidden Lake Peak fire lookout

The perfume of wildflowers was overwhelming as I carefully stepped my way through the brushy lower meadows. This was after the fragrant, husky vanilla of mud and pine needles in the forest below.  Everything smelled so good, ten times over, in the heat! Unfortunately, the heat was also working hard against me. I haven’t been this sweaty and hot on a hike in a long time. Then, halfway up to Sibley Pass I experienced a burst of adrenaline. I jumped ten feet in the air after I brushed against someone’s lost bear bells dangling on the side of the trail, hahaha!

My legs felt like rubber as I picked my way through the final 300 airy feet to the Hidden Lake Peak fire lookout.

a heat-hazy view of ripsaw ridge on the way down from the Hidden Lake Peak fire lookout (if you look very closely, you can see where I picked the trail back up off of the snowfield)

The hazy, last-gasp-of-summer views of Hidden Lake and Cascade Pass made up for the hard 8 miles and 3500 feet of elevation gain. It was a satisfyingly lonely day in the North Cascades.

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