South Loon Mountain


One of the best views of the Lick Creek mountains, South Loon is also one of the tallest.

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I had done much of this hike a few years back as part of a backpack trip to Enos Lake with my Dad and brother Tom. When we did that hike, Dad has turned off too early and missed the trail over the first ridge, and we had a horrible bushwhack through alder before we found the trail. Remembering that, I went past the trail over the ridge and had to bushwhack back to it. But it wasn't too bad, and we only lost 15 or 20 minutes. It was still early when we topped the ridge and got our first view of the days objective, South Loon Mountain- the high point in the center of the picture.

But first, we had to hike down to the lake, traverse the drainage, and climb up the lower valley.

We went south of the first lake, which necessitated some highly technical moves.

Our route worked out quite well, and we were soon on the approach ridge to South Loon, with the summit looming above us.

The ridge up to the summit is fairly steep, with lots of deadfall from the Payette fire that burned about 10 years ago (has it been that long?).

I'm not sure if it was because it was our third day in a row, I was dehydrated, maybe I shouldn't have drank so much wine, or I'm just getting old, but somewhere in here I ran out of steam. I had to slow to a steady plod or my heart rate went through the roof. Brain was patient.

And then, finally, we could see the top. This is an extremely photogenic summit, and I made Brian pose.

Summit of South Loon Peak

Another amazing, clear day gave us views of all the surrounding ranges, plus the Enos lakes.

We had packed an extra-special lunch, so as soon as we found a place that was out of the wind, we had an hour-long picnic. Here Brian enjoys- I mean, really enjoys- a Black Butte Porter.

Mr. Natural Home | 2005 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski