The reviews online about this hike made me not mind the early 4:45 AM wake time and the 3 hours drive to the trailhead. Even though the weather forecast was not promising, we had a fantastic time under the clouds and this was my best fall color hike yet. 7 of us started from the meetup point at Lake Stevens and after a quick stop at Wake n Bakery, we reached the 12 mile forest road to trailhead. Though it was a long drive and the final 12 miles was pothole ridden, I chose to drive my car since it’s battery had almost discharged due to the low usage in the previous month. We started the hike around 9:30 AM and reached the ridge-line in 1.5 hours. The forest trail suddenly opened up-to vistas with Mt Shuksan and numerous other mountains. We were well below the cloud cover, so we could surrounding mountains. Soon we saw variety of color patches on the mountains and the stark difference between green trees, snow capped mountains and these colors were fantastic to see. We kept walking along the ridge and the view at every turn made my jaw drop and I kept enjoying every single sight. I was like this trail should be named Skyline Divine instead. I made a note of some amazing campsites. There was slight rain in between but it disappeared soon and didn’t dampen us much. Mt Baker was covered in snow but we could still see glaciers and crevasses. Puget sound also showed up along with few islands. We had lunch at a peak which was cold and windy. My fingers had started paining and I gave it enough protection and started descending quickly. Same views still awed me and I descended taking the views in. The yellow and red patches on the mountain were just too beautiful. The final stretch in the forest was quite quick and I was on the trailhead by 2:40 PM. I took a short nap before others were done and I guess that and conversation with a fellow hiker kept me awake during the drive back. It was a nice group to hike with and a fantastic day out.
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