My hiking buddy Rex called me up to see if I would go with him to Three Fingers. It was a good idea, so on the weekend I got up at 4:30 AM, picked him up at his house and we were at the trail at 7:30.

Three Fingers is a tough 15 mile round-trip hike. But the views and the lookout cabin at the end really make it worth while. The trailhead is in the Verlot area near Granite Falls, WA.

2006_three_fingers0 Starting out. I tried to make my pack fairly light this time. We were planning to stay overnight, but I didn't take a tent because we would be in the lookout.

2006_three_fingers1 A couple of miles into the hike we could see the lookout peak on top of the third finger on the right.

2006_three_fingers2 The territorial views on the way in were beautiful: deep woods, colored meadows and tarns.

2006_three_fingers3 Some flowers were in late bloom.

2006_three_fingers4 We also saw several brown bears. (See the one in the upper left?) In this area first we saw a mother with two cubs. Then this one went bounding in their direction. All were far away from us and we were in no danger. They were out eating the plentiful mountain blueberries.

2006_three_fingers5 I am in awe of the twisted mountain trees. The living ones are so tenacious. And even the dead ones show real character.

2006_three_fingers6 The Goat Flats area was very beautiful. The meadow leaves had such rich colors. The lookout can be seen as a distant peak in the gap on the right.

2006_three_fingers7 There was not much snow, but we had to climb this snow field near the end. It was at almost a 45 deg angle.

2006_three_fingers8 At the end, there are ladders to get up the last little bit. This part seemed to make people the most nervous. Those two are at a weird 90 degree to each other.

2006_three_fingers9 Then you climb on a boulder and go up one last ladder. That is Mt. Baker through the gap.

2006_three_fingers10 The rope on the rock is helpful. The cabin has about 5 ft. of front porch.

2006_three_fingers11 The lookout is perched on the rock with no extra room on its sides. When they made it in 1918, they used dynamite to blast off the top 15 feet of the mountain to make space for it. Rex is taking my picture.

2006_three_fingers12 There were quite a few day-hikers there. At one point there were about 12 people, but we were the only ones staying the night. (We were pleased!)

2006_three_fingers13 Yes, we called home while we were there.

2006_three_fingers14 The lookout is quite cosy. There is an easy chair and a number of supplies like candles and propane generously left by others.

2006_three_fingers15 There is a bed, books and the old fire-spotter sight table.

2006_three_fingers16 The access to the back porch is through the window.

2006_three_fingers17 This guy was crazy-funny. He brought up this phone and cable-TV wires and put them on the wall! Notice that the phone is labelled for "Local Calls Only".

2006_three_fingers18 There were so many mountain peaks all around! Nothing in the area was as high, so the views were fantastic.

2006_three_fingers19 Mt Baker to the north was close and large.

2006_three_fingers20 Glacier Peak

2006_three_fingers21 Sloan Peak

2006_three_fingers22 Mt Rainier was also out in the distance, but it was a bit hazy.

2006_three_fingers23 The sides from the lookout location were sheer drop-offs.

2006_three_fingers24 Although the weekend was pleasantly warm, there had been fresh snow the prevous weekend.

2006_three_fingers25 This was old snow at the top of the glacier on the north side.

2006_three_fingers26 That evening the sunset was fantastic. This is the waters of the Puget Sound by Everett.

2006_three_fingers27 Going, going, gone.

2006_three_fingers28 The next morning we were amazed by the balmy tempertures out on the back porch.

2006_three_fingers29 Looking back to the peak and the lookout on the way out.