North Mountain Lookout... finally.
If you haven't been following along, this was my third 'attempt' in five months to reach the North Mountain Lookout.
First attempt was thwarted by a low snow level & lack of snowshoes. Link
Second attempt was aborted due to a recent ankle injury (plus tons of snow) making for slow progress and a potentially unwise situation to be in while solo. Link.
Third attempt was "picture perfect", as exhibited in the below images.
You may notice that the Lookout is in pretty poor condition.
Very poor condition, actually.
Unsafe condition, more realistically.
It needs help and attention and a passionate effort to get it refurbished to its glory days. If you are interested, please consider visiting my Save North Mountain Lookout page here.
On with the eye candy... then some comments.
There is a 'washout' on the road... right where the route starts in the below route map image. The washout IS passable by some vehicles (and brave drivers). I didn't attempt it because it looked too deep, but as I walked by it became evident that someone has piled some rotting logs in the new water channel which makes the drop off less deep and more likely that you could get by. While I was returning to the car, a 4x4 truck did pass me (but he didn't get much further due to snow).
At the time of my visit, it wasn't possible to drive to the gate due to snow levels. At the gate the snow was as deep as the top of the gate. Standing on the snow looking down on the top of the gate it was clear that the gate has rusted through where it locks to the post. Once the snow is gone, anyone will be able to swing the gate open or closed as desired... until someone comes by to fix it.
Really cool but also in really poor condition. Some of the equipment up there appears to have been broken in to, but not damaged (other than the door).
Woo Hoo!! Visit this place on a sunny day - the views are well worth it.
1,081 feet of elevation gain in 3.75 miles (7.5 miles round trip)
Since my hike to North Mountain Lookout started pretty early, I was back to the car by noon. With a whole half day ahead of me, there was no way that I couldn't go do a little more exploring. Off to the town of Diablo for a little exploring of the Diablo Dam Trail, Stetattle Creek Trail and Sourdough Mountain/Ridge Lookout Trail. Reports for those are 'coming soon'.
PS: The June 9 planned hike outing has been cancelled and will be on a different date (still TBD which date). Keep tabs on the 2012 hiking calendar if you are interested in tagging along some day. LINK.