Silcox But

After my short hike up to Barlow Butte Sunday morning I decided it was too beautiful a day to go home just yet. So I headed up to Timberline Lodge to do the short trek up to the historic Silcox Hut.

When I arrived at the lodge it was a ZOO. I barely found a place to park. I asked a parking lot attendant if there was an event going on. He said this was just how things were on nice summer weekends.

There was lupine blooming all over the place around the lodge.

The hike up is about a mile long, but you gain 1,000 feet in that mile AND you’re hiking above 6,000 feet, which is hard when you live at an elevation of about 300 feet! Fortunately there were plenty of views to be had for the frequent rest stops I had to take.

Getting close!

The Silcox Hut was built in 1939 and it served as the upper terminus of the Magic Mile chairlift. The Magic Mile was moved a bit west in the 1960s and the hut eventually fell into disrepair. It has since been restored and is now available for events such as retreats and weddings.

The views, of course, were sublime. Looking south to Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters.

The chaos of the lodge far far below me.

Trillium Lake.

White River.

Looking southwest out over layers and layers of mountains. On the left you can see the alpine slide at Skibowl (I gotta do that someday; it looks fun!)

The Palmer Snowfield was above me, but there was a half-pipe right next to where I was sitting and admiring the view. I was amazed at the number of skiers and snowboarders who were up here. Maybe it’s because I’m not a skier, but I just don’t equate summer with skiing.

Someone got injured up on Palmer and was being brought down. That would be a bit of a scary ride, I think.

This little guy came searching for handouts. Sorry buddy. You have to learn to fend for yourself.

So he went and started munching on penstemon.

I sat and enjoyed the view for a long time before finally heading down. Sullivan suggests a different return route going down the service road below the chairlift terminals. I would have done that except it would have required crossing the snow in the path of skiers and snowboarders. Uh, no thanks.

About halfway down two women asked me if they were on the Timberline Trail. I said that they were quite aways above that trail. They had gotten confused by the maze of trails below and at one junction where it pointed the way to the Timberline Trail they thought the trail crossed the snow where the skiers were coming down. It DOES look that way depending on where you’re standing, but it’s easy enough to avoid the snow.

Obligatory Timberline Lodge shot.

By now the day was pretty warm so I stopped at the Ice Axe Grill in Government Camp before heading home. Great day!