High Rock Lookout Loop

Shuttle • 21 mi • 0 ft

The broad vistas (in clear weather) across the southern Cascades are outstanding. But the grand prize is the hike through old-growth forest to High Rock fire lookout. It is perched on the heart-stopping brink of a 1,200-foot cliff that provides an inspiring view of Mt. Rainier, just 13 miles to the northeast. You may also see Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, even Oregon’s Mt. Hood. Be sure to bring a Northwest Forest Pass so you can park at the trailhead. On a road that includes asphalt, graded gravel and native dirt. The hike to the lookout, which gains almost 1,400 feet, is strenuous, and the weather is often cool and wet.
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Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Ashford
Length: 21 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 - 3 hours, including hike to lookout
Other Uses: Lookout, photography, hiking
Local Contacts: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Ranger District
Local Maps: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas; Gifford Pinchot National Forest
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Recent Trail Reviews


Steep but not that long, wildflowers abundant, views at various overlooks along the way, and a jaw-dropping final approach to the fire lookout perched on the edge nowhere.

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