Sierra Buttes Lookout

Well, Carly and I finally made this hike, which I have been meaning to do for 2 or 3 years.  Unfortunately, there is smoke on the horizon in pretty much all directions right now (’tis that time of year.  Thoughts and prayers to those who battle these blazes!).  Therefore, the views up on top weren’t as epic as I’m sure they can be.  Smoke or no smoke, it was still an amazing hike!  I was only able to narrow the images down to about 45 (I shot 186 and Carly grabbed some with her GoPro) so bear with me.

We got to the area a bit early so we stopped by Packer Lake to take a gander.  It is one of many pretty little lakes in the area…
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Yep.  That little house up there is where we’re going!  What have we gotten ourselves in to?…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_012

Gaining a little ground but already huffin’ and puffin’ and still a good way to go…DCIM188GOPROG0420727.

Just an incredibly scenic hike, all the way up…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_015

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There are several “teaser” looks at the lookout, just to keep you wondering what you were thinking!… 20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_024

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The breaks certainly got more frequent, the farther we got.  Carly lives at 500 foot elevation.  SEVENTY five and ultimately EIGHTY five hundred weren’t her favorites!…

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One of the treats of this hike is the frequent views of these three lakes.  Closest to farthest in this view are Young America, Upper Sardine, and Lower Sardine Lakes…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_022

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This sign, literally translated, means, you still have a ways to go…lol…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_025

Finally getting close.  At about this point, I told Carly, “Oh, by the way, there are 200 spooky stairs to climb at the end.”  This is the first glimpse at those stairs…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_033

Just about…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_035

Great view from near the base of the stairs…shows the smokiness in the air though…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_034

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Just a cool rusty old tank below the base of the tower…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_031

Time to head up!…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_037

Definitely, not for those with height phobias.  If the stairs aren’t enough, you get to walk on expanded metal at the top…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_038

Judging from the fairly modern stove and fridge, I’d say it was in use not all that many years ago…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_039

Absolutely spectacular views and I got 4 bars on my phone so I could check in on Facebook while up there…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_032

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Gotta have your nourishment! (and take plenty of water!)…DCIM188GOPROG0430778.

Yep, Carly loved the stairs (Don’t worry.  They’re only slightly more scary on the decent than the accent)…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_040

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We were treated to some wonderful “golden hour” light and a rising moon on our decent…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_043

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We made it back to the grocery-getter just in time for the end of a beautiful sunset (one advantage of all that smoke, I suppose)…

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I certainly want to try this one one more time in some crisp, clean air (which may be easier said than done as the fires could start pretty much any second after the snow melts off the trail). But it was a wonderful hike and we’re only a little sore today! If you’re a hiker and haven’t done it you need to add it to your “to do” list!

If you’re interested there are pretty good directions on how to get there available from All Trails HERE.

Josh, over at California Through My Lens, has a great post related to this hike as well.  It can be found HERE.  His blog is worthy of a look/subscription for lots of other great recreational/travel ideas around the state as well!