Vistas worthy of a Supreme Court Justice

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Darland Mountain

As followers of my blog know well, I’ve spent many a year hiking, camping, fishing and hunting in the central and northern Cascade Mountains of Washington. And, like Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, I have a special place in my heart for the area west of Yakima – – – the Ahtanum, Conrad Meadows, Goat Rocks Wilderness and what is now the William O. Douglas Wilderness.

One fascinating spot is the 6,980-foot summit of Darland Mountain which can be driven to, but the last few miles are very rough, rocky and steep. This day the views were not great due to the large amount of wildfire smoke in the air.

But the memories kept sweeping over me of Clover Flats, of all my family members and hunting partners who one time stood next to me on Darland Mountain but have now passed on, of deer and elk that ended up providing excellent meals for the family, and many an evening around a raucous campfire.

It always reminds me how important it is to build the best memories possible.

A magnificent Whitebark Pine (more than a 1,000 years old?)

Goat Rocks rising above Conrad Meadows (the largest subalpine meadows in the Cascade Mountains)

The fallen signpost at the top of Darland Mountain

A hazy Mt. Adams (wildfire smoke)

Air suspension (off-road 2), low range 4WD, V8 and skid plates came in handy on the rough road to the summit

8.8184-foot Mt. Gilbert (highest point in Goat Rocks)

Long look down the Middle Fork of Ahtanum Creek to the Yakima area

False Giant Hellebore (wild Lily) near the summit

Mt. Rainier



Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags:


  1. Excellent photos in these hazy conditions, John. I started exploring these areas this summer and they are magical. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  2. Wow, great pics John! Sure would like to go there,

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