Hidden Lake Peaks

The weather was great as we began our trudge up the Cascade Pass Trail, the destination: "S" Mountain, a.k.a. Hurry-Up Peak. When we arrived at the western edge of the Cache Glacier we realized the weather was not going to be the excuse for not reaching our destination, it was the bergschrund and moat just below Cache Col and the lack of equipment necessary to overcome these obstacles that would bring a premature end to this trip. We were however partially compensated for our effort by the grand view from the northern most section of the Ptarmigan Traverse but there was little choice but to go elsewhere.

Sahale Peak, Ripsaw Ridge and Mount Buckner from near the Cache Glacier

Soon a plan was devised and we were on the road to the Sibley Creek Trailhead after a five mile retreat from the Cache Glacier. I had been to Sibley Creek Pass and the lower of the Hidden Lake Peaks on a trip earlier this year but never had seen the Lake, the lookout or been to the top of the higher Hidden Lake Peak and Chris had never been to the Hidden Lake Peaks area at all so it was an easy decision given we had spent three hours driving to the area. The going is generally an easy four mile hike to the lookout, which boasts grand views of the Middle Fork Cascade River valley and well beyond. The lookout is at a modest elevation of 6900'. Overnight stays are allowed but reservations must be made (I will try to get that information).

Hidden Lake with Cascade Pass in the background


The Hidden Lake Lookout

Only slightly higher is the summit of Hidden Lake Peak (7088'). Although it falls far short of a mountaineering challenge in summer, it offers a somewhat better view than from the lookout and some fun scrambling if you go out of your way. The summit can be reached by any number of ways including from Sibley Creek Pass (class 3), from near the lookout (easiest, class 2), and from just about anywhere in between. I made the ascent from about a quarter mile beyond the second crossing of Sibley (short section of class 4), then descended to the gap between the summit and the lookout to pick-up the trail and continued to the lookout. Neither of us descended to the lake itself, but it actually looked like the most direct route was via Sibley Creek Pass rather than the trail. This route appeared to be only slightly, if at all, more difficult than the trail.

Snowking Mountain from the Summit of Hidden Lake Peak


Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan with Tee-Bone Ridge in the foreground

100 Hikes in the North Cascades National Park Region, Third Edition; Spring and Manning; Pages 94-95
Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume 2, Second Edition; Fred Beckey; Pages 289, 367