Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Thorp Mountain Lookout via Little Joe Lake

Counterclockwise loop from Thorp Creek→Little Joe Lk→Red Mtn trail 1330→No Name Ridge→Kachess Ridge→Thorp Lookout→Thorp Creek for 10 miles, 2900’ gain.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • According to our group, this loop is more strenuous than either the mileage or elevation gain indicates. Perhaps it’s because (1) majority of the elevation gain happens in three separate sections totaling ~2.5 miles; (2) there are 20+ blowdowns on the Little Joe Lake trail and Red Mountain trail; (3) much of the trail surfaces on this loop are rocky, sloped to the side and/or loose gravel on a sloped surface and (4) overgrown/brushy for most of the mileage.  About ½ mile west of Little Joe Lake (on Red Mtn trail) is the worst of the blowdowns in which tree trunk and debris lay on the length of the trail. Other than this one, with respect to blowdowns, Red Mtn trail is in much better shape than Little Joe Lk trail. At the west end of Red Mtn trail in a tree-free pass, there’s a nice lunch stop with views to the north of Mt Daniel, Mt Hinman and Bears Breast.

    We were able to step over, go around or climb over the blowdowns. There are several stream crossings. At this time, none were challenging but poles for balance were used by everyone.

The group said it was an excellent trip and worth the effort. Wildflowers and views on this loop. Scouted a portion of it about 10 days before and different wildflowers are in bloom this trip. Probably, there will be a procession of flowers as long as the ground moisture lasts.  The balsamroot flowers were already brown but many others just blossoming.  Lots of butterflies.

Views from the Lookout include peaks in the Alpine Lakes wilderness, the Enchantments and more. Road was suitable for all vehicles.  Limited parking, it's just along side of the road.

Here's my WTA trip report - https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2023-07-07.3854327323
Photo album - https://www.flickr.com/photos/162988594@N05/sets/72177720309627259/
CHS Facebook post - https://www.facebook.com/groups/chshikers/permalink/6282269675142299/