Barb and I visited Tolmie Peak Lookout six years ago. Yesterday, we hiked up there again. We left a little after 6:00 AM and arrived at the trailhead at about 8:00 AM. The last 19 miles were gravel with “high clearance vehicles recommended.” The speed limit was 25 MPH, but in places, I thought 15 MPH was plenty fast.
The sign at the trailhead said 5.8 miles round trip. They lied. My GPS step tracker said it was 3.47 one way.
The first part of the trail was really nice. It got a little more difficult in places. But it’s not so bad that we really complained about it. We knew the reward at the end would be well worth it.
Down toward the trailhead:
And on and up to the lookout:
We started out at just over 5,000’ elevation. This is the sign at Eunice Lake
The lookout is at 5,935.
Near Eunice Lake, we were swarmed with mosquitos. We applied insect repellant, but it was far from completely effective. Barb described it as her being their buffet.
This is Eunice Lake with the lookout on the skyline just right of center:
About halfway up the hill from the lake, we saw Mount Rainer to the Southeast. No matter how many times we have seen it, it never fails to impress us. This is from more than nine miles from the peak with a cell phone camera. The peak is nearly 9,000 feet above us.
To the Northwest was a valley filled with a river of fog.
We arrived at the lookout just before 10:00.
The lookout isn’t particularly special compared to many other lookouts. But the view is very special.
It is hard to capture it with a cellphone camera, but this is a very round valley carved by a glacier.
Last time, Barb got uncomfortable with the trail beyond the lookout. I turned around to stay with her. This time, I went on without her. I after traversing this section of the “trail” I stopped and reevaluated my life choices.
I had gone further than last time, but I didn’t see the risk/reward benefit analysis being all that favorable. This was the view forward shortly before I turned back.