S pent Sunday scouting the area just north of Randle, WA, in the GPNF as part of a Randle-to-Longmire route, but I think I have better options, yet to be explored. Watch Mountain is beautiful. Watch Lake is OK, but does not really provide a good site to hang a hammock, the trail there is a traumatized jeep trail. I found an aluminum skiff and a killer view of Mt. Rainier at the lake. Had I a tent, and a bear canister, I'd've stayed the night, but bear-sign had me nervous. The slog up to the lake seemed steep and endless. Had an opportunity for a bit of sad part way along upon discovering graffiti left behind by BJE3. After arriving at Watch Lake, I continued all the way down to the North Fork Swamp (of Mineral Creek), much of it along ugly logging road and thru private timber ops. Ate dinner at my truck at midnight, then passed out. It was getting dark when I left the lake, and was well past full dark when I got done. That was fun, but I saw no bats, and if Mt. Rainier was showing alpenglow, I missed it. Monday, I biked and hiked some of the spur roads off USFS 75 looking for good campsites. The one spur provided good access to the bottom of the canyon. Did 35 miles w/ 5,858' feet of gain.
Images taken Sunday, June 9, 2019, on Watch Mountain, GPNF.