I did this trail several years ago (I probably wasn't in good enough shape for it), and unfortunately most of the pictures I took from the top have been corrupted (I had a major computer break down a year ago) so I can't really show how great the views are. However, I can say that the views are well worth the effort it takes to get to the top.
The first stretch of the trail is fairly easy, offering many opportunities to observe the flora and fauna of the woods. What fascinated me the most was the large fungus growths that were all over the place. It was sort of like a smurf village. In addition, once the trail connected with the access road (which is where the strenuous climbing started), I saw quite a few really large pine cones, which was kind of neat.
If I were to do the hike again I would probably start a lot earlier, because doing the most strenuous part during the hottest time of day was incredibly draining. The hike really wore me down. As the road went higher there seemed to be less and less shade. Also, there were no real views until the top of the mountain, which made it mentally exhausting. When I finally reached the top I was very relieved.
Near and on the top of the mountain there are some interesting large rocks and boulders left behind by retreating glaciers.
The old fire tower was also kind of neat to explore. It was in much better shape than I was expecting, and offered some great panoramic views. Outside the tower, the mountain lived up to its name as it was very windy (though that also meant very few bugs).
|A view from the summit of Windy Joe|
You can read more about the hike here.
|Windy Joe from the Cascade Lookout|