It was 89 degrees and dead calm in the Skalkoho Creek valley when we left. Now the wind is howling, and I’ve put on an extra shirt and the fleece jacket that I just threw in at the last moment, thinking it would make a good pillow. But it’s all good. I’m on top of the world.
The Gird Point Lookout is the fourth lookout we’ve stayed in, and it’s a dandy. You can’t drive all the way to the lookout, but it’s a pretty manageable walk: from the parking area it’s 3/4 mile up a hill. A steep hill, yes, but not far.
The harder part is the 13 mile drive up the winding and twisty Forest Service road. The directions tell you to budget an hour and a half for the drive, and that’s pretty much right. But it’s not too rocky, so just about any car could make it. (Although I noticed a number of folks who wrote comments in the lookout journal also commented on the flat tires they got on the way up. The wind was also a common theme!)
After 12 miles, we got our first view of the lookout:
Every lookout has amazing views, but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate; smoke or clouds can hide the scene. But the wind just adds to the drama, and this place is full of drama. We were even visited by a group of six mule deer bucks and a magnificent big horn sheep. The wind died down just before sunset, which meant it was perfect for sitting out on the catwalk and just looking.