|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – August 2008
Want a backcountry room with a view? Climb these lookouts from Vermont to Washington.
Three Fingers, WA
Climb to Epic Views
The Three Fingers Lookout in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest seems too good to be true. From its 6,850-foot apex, you can see arguably the state's best sunset (the orb sinking into Puget Sound) and best sunrise (up-close alpenglow on Mt. Baker). And it's free. The catch? A tough 8-mile hike–including a technical glacier crossing–to get there. From Saddle Lake trailhead, take Trail #641 to Saddle Lake and Goat Flats, an alpine meadow. Head right to Tin Pan Gap, where you'll put on crampons and ready the ice axe and rope for a half-mile glacier traverse before scrambling up three wooden ladders to the lookout's front door. It's first-come first-served, but the vast majority of climbers camp at Goat Flats. Best conditions are August to mid-October. (360) 436-1155
After The Fire
Head to Luca's in Lake Stevens for the Romano, a panini filled with prosciutto, fontina cheese, and artichoke pesto. lucasitalianrestaurant.com
From Granite Falls, take the Mountain Loop Hwy. east 6.5 miles and turn left on FR 41. Go 18 miles and turn right to reach the trailhead.