Murray Lookout
A snowshoe loop to the Mt. Murray Viewpoint on the Sawmill trails.

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This route is a new snowshoe loop on the old Sawmill trail network. While I had determined the route before, it is now marked and used as the 'Lower Chester Loop',
though we and most other track-leavers took a detour up the old Murray access. It's a great loop!

The trail starts at Chester parking lot, and take the right turn at the first sign, where all the Chester trails go left.
at present, this sign has been confusing a lot of people, and we met one group at the midpoint of the trail who were looking for Chester Lake.
Hopefully there will be an edit to this sign in the future to send people the correct way.
We moved slow at the beginning while I tried to watch for a turnoff not marked on the new maps, but it turned out everyone was taking that anyways.
We were able to follow tracks nearly the whole way, but it was good to be sure of where we were.

Starting out from Chester.

The trail is clear and snowy on a beautiful sunny day.

More gorgeous sun and snow.

Evelyn, Jeff, Neil, and Anna hike the trail.

Anna and Neil on the steep ascent.

Anna enjoys the mountains on top of the ridge.

Neil and Anna head for the top of the ridge.

Jeff and Evelyn hiking along the high route.

Neil and Anna hike ahead into the sun.

Mount James Walker pokes out while we're at the top.

A spectacular day for snowshoeing!

While the tracks led over the ridge, somehow no-one had actually visited the viewpoint - despite a sign pointing the way!
As the trail headed down, we cut off to the right and broke trail along a short section to reach the viewpoint - which is well worth it!
I imagine now that we put in a trail, it is likely to be visited by more people. We also stamped down a lunch pad, so enjoy! :D

Jeff and Evelyn break trail to the viewpoint.

The group reachest the viewpoint.

The full view from the Mt. Murray viewpoint - a great spot for lunch! The trees have grown in, but it's still a great lookout across the valley.

Mount Burstall to the NW.

The sun hangs above Mount Murray

Hiking back to the main trail.

And more blue skies for the trail down.

The trail descends the SE side of the ridge.

Jeff and Evelyn hiking down.

Anna, Evelyn, and Jeff race the last section. Evelyn won.

The sun and snow make even the final treed section beautiful!

We return to the south side of the parking lot.

Photos taken by Rachel

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