We have been talking about trying this one in the evening to catch the amazing sunsets for quite a while. Then we had a relative newcomer to hiking express some interest and the plans were cemented.
We hit the trail at about 7pm, we passed 2 or 3 groups coming down off the mountain on our way up but saw no one at the summit. At a nice, easy pace we reached the first lookout in about 1.5 hours. The light and visibility to the south and east was amazing. My photos don't begin to show the amazing light effect on Baker...but I will continue to try to refine my ability to "capture the feeling" in pictures.
Unfortunately, the low cloud was starting to move in from the west and we never got the sunset we were seeking. We stayed at the summit for the better part of an hour and, all tooled up with headlamps and flashlights, we started our descent into the fading daylight.
The ambiance of the forest in the darkening night was almost magical. The effect was one of comfortable focus and a type of solitude while still within a group.
The trip down went amazingly fast, we back to our vehicles and off for home.
Jun 22, 2015
After I tried Flora Lake, Elk Mountain is much easier. However, it is steeper than I expected. Also, I am confused why I felt so cold while on the trail and it was hot when I got back to the trailhead. Overall, a good trail.