Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Lookout Dome Traverse & Mount Storm King Traverse

A great rainy day way to stretch your legs, as well as checkout the first part of the Lookout Dome - Storm King Traverse. After early season snow prevented access to our earlier alternate (Deer Park/Grand Ridge), this 18 mile/3,500’ trip provided a great workout with views of the Hughes Creek Drainage.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • In spite of its unmaintained status, the trail leading to the divide between Barnes Creek and Hughes Creek is in remarkably good shape.  One stream crossing in particular was a bit of a challenge in terms of keeping feet dry, but a few well thrown rocks helped fill in the stepping stone gaps as shown here:


After snow made access to our earlier alternate untenable (Deer Park, Grand Ridge) we opted to get a workout and gather beta for a future Lookout Dome - Storm King Traverse trip.  Although the route description says disparaging things about the Barnes Creek Trail past the Aurora Divide Trail junction at ~4 miles, it is really in great shape.  There is a left fork just below the divide, that leads to a great divide viewpoint at ~3,800 feet:

Mount Baldy and Hughes Creek Drainage

I don’t believe this is the one mentioned that leads to Lookout Dome.  On descent we gazed intently into the terrain north of the trail and saw no sign of any boot track or trail.  At this point I believe the best line to reach Lookout Dome will be to leave the trail leading to the divide (at ~2,900’, just after crossing the intermittent stream that ends at the divide), and to ascend through the broad bowl that is SSW of Lookout Dome, following the gentlest slope and terrain affording the best progress.  Our times were 4.5 hours up, 3.5 hours down, and half an hour at the viewpoint. Photos from this, as well as other Storm King related trips can be seen here.