Thursday, September 17, 2009

Priest Lake and Lookout Mountain

After the 9/15 tax deadline, Libby and I took several days to relax - me from work, and Libby before she returns to school next week. The original plan was to camp two nights at Priest Lake, but that changed when a wet storm was predicted to pummel through the Inland Northwest on the second day. To cement the change in plans, I tweaked my neck and figured camping would be less than ideal therapy.

Instead, we headed up for a day trip, and maximized our time by barbecuing lunch at the lake, and then hiking up Lookout Mountain, adjacent to the northeast. Priest Lake is nineteen miles long and located in the Idaho Panhandle, barely below the Canadian border about two hours from Spokane.

To get to the upper trail head and limit the hike to about six miles, we drove several thousand feet up a long, steep rocky road. The Subaru handled the rough road nicely, but she is less than pleased about the fresh scratches down her side, caused by overhanging branches. Oh well, a new looking car is so... boring.

The lake meanders almost to the horizon from the 6000-foot level of Lookout Mountain, about 800 feet below the summit.

Libby and Mika resting near the summit, at the top of a sharply dropping ridge.

The historic lookout building no longer in use, alongside the more modern elevated structure.

The edge of the 500-foot cliff adjacent to the summit. Can you see Libby and Mika? Double-click to expand.

Looking over the cliff, at one half of the bowl-shaped alpine valley.

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