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Winchester Mountain Lookout

What if this summer you could hike the "best day hike in America"? Would you want to?

What if you knew it was only 1.8 miles long? Would that help convince you to add it to your bucket list?

Even better, you don't need to take a massive road trip across country or anything because it's right here in Washington tucked away in the heart of the Mt Baker wilderness in the North Cascades. named Winchester Mountain Lookout the best effort-to-reward hike in all of America!

This hike is the perfect place to convert any casual hiker into becoming a full on backcountry backpacking fool. I mean in less than 2 miles you can find late summer blueberries, swim in alpine lakes with full 360 degree views of mountain peaks, the fire lookout shelter is even open for sleeping to the first comers looking to avoid pitching a tent.

A few things to know ahead of time.

1. Twin Lake Rd may not be drivable by normal cars (yes even your Subaru), you will likely need a vehicle with some ground clearance and even then sometime the road can impassable. In that case simply park at Tomyhoi Lake Trailhead lower down and add about 2 miles to your hike.

2. The steep snowy peaks carry snow into July most years and can require an ice pick to safely navigate. If you're an experienced climber it can be managed almost year round but conditions and road closures make it simply safer to tackle this hike in the summer months. Typically best July - October.

3. The lookout is locked until June, so don't commit to sleeping inside if your set on doing this hike early in the year. Bring your hammock or tent along for those overnighters.

4. You'll need your Forest Service Recreation Pass to park.

Whether you're a destination hiker or avid backpacker this hike needs to be on your list. The views speak for themselves and earned this hike its title of the best reward-to-effort hike in America. So get out there and go see them for yourself.

Happy Exploring!

For more info call the Mt. Baker Ranger District office at 360-856-5700 or Glacier Public Service Center at 360-599-2714.

*Explore the rest of our website for other memorable places to visit in Washington State


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