topohiker 2009-01-17 "I'll never hike the North peak trail again"
Stiller 2009-03-22 "We started up the North Peak Trail, which is actually in very good condition."
I gotta say I wouldn't sleep well recommending this trail to casual day hikers nor suggesting carrying a backpack up or down. There are some seriously steep grades. It's washed out and non-existent in a few areas. The upper portion is pretty much a cairn hunt. None of this bothers me, just trying to tell it as I saw it.
We finished up a portion of the divide trail Bob was missing then took lunch in the upper origin of Wet Bottom Creek. Found some decent pools for filtering if needed. We hit North Peak on the return. This peak never registered much with me as a must do but I think it's pretty cool. The views are incredible. There is a cool pine forest that survived on SE saddle (my fav part of the day). It is steep. The bushwhacking is very minimal. I followed the ridges and found them to be decent off-trail travel considering all. About 55 degrees at start and 83 at finish seemed pretty toasty. I'm knocking 800ft off my posted route AEG to a more reasonable figure.
Wildflowers are definitely a step up from light so I'm going with moderate. There are some good sized fields. One nice yellow field. Mostly whites and some purples mixed in. All are on the tiny side and best enjoyed in person.
BTW... Bob really likes some song about his heart being a stereo? and repetitively insisted he is the sausage king of Chicago, whatever that means...