Winchester Mountain trail side geology

I hiked up to the restored fire lookout on Winchester Mountain on Labor Day, 2022. Winchester is above Twin Lakes off the Mount Baker Highway. I wrote up what I could figure out about the trail side geology and posted it in the ‘field trips’ section of this website. Thanks to the Mount Baker Club for maintaining the lookout building, and boo to the anonymous idiots who broke into it and damaged the door last winter.

P1050286a mark

The geologic highlight of the Winchester Mountain trail, other than the stupendous views into the complex geology of the North Cascades, is the trail climbing along a yellow dike cutting across the basement rocks.

The approach is on a challenging but very fun (if you like that sort of thing- I do!) rough road. I’m glad I had my Crosstrek with its ‘X-mode’ for traction. The views into the Cascades are the main attraction for most who visit, but I got a big kick examining a 2+ meter wide dike that intersects the trail 300 feet below the summit. The hike is moderate, gaining 1300 feet in just over 2 miles on a good trail. But if you are fazed by the road, you will need to add a lot of road walking- up to 2.5 miles each way if you park near the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead. If you are lucky some nice person may offer you a lift.

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