Friday, June 25, 2010

Canoeing and Hiking - Mount Blue

At over 2,900 feet, Mount Blue towers above Garnet Lake far below at about 1,400 feet. There is no trail to its summit, but the views are extraordinary. Getting to the summit requires paddling about 0.8 miles across the lake to the Lixard Pond trailhead, stowing the canoe and gear, hiking about 0.7 miles up a marked trail, and following a compass bearing about another 0.8 steeply to the summit.

Garnet Lake was beautiful this morning as we arrived at the hiking start point and looked back the way we had paddled.

Starting up the hiking trail, we soon found our point for jumping off on the bushwhack to the summit. The route was nowhere near as straight as the red line above shows. This side of the mountain had a major forest fire in 1908, leaving lots of bare rocky patches that made the going much easier, if not quite as direct. The best view we had all day was from one of these rocky patches, since the summit itself is mostly wooded, with a few ledges looking out various directions. This view was wide open toward Crane Mountain, with Garnet Lake far below. Our hike had started at the narrows at the bottom of the picture.

For only a 3-mile round trip hike, this seemed a lot tougher. It's quite steep in spots, and on a warm day like today, climbing the south slopes was pretty hot and dry. The ice cream stop in Warrensburg on the way home was most welcome.

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