High Rock Lookout Loop

Ashford, Washington

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1 Review
5 out of 5
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. The hike to the lookout, which gains almost 1,400 feet, is strenuous, and the weather is often cool and wet. Considering how much logging has occurred in these parts, the drive along narrow road 84 is a surprisingly pretty one.
Washington Byways

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Washington Byways

by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)

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. The hike to the lookout, which gains almost 1,400 feet, is strenuous, and the weather is often cool and wet. Considering how much logging has occurred in these parts, the drive along narrow road 84 is a surprisingly pretty one.

©  Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Ashford
Distance: 21
Length: 21
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1 - 3 hours, including hike to lookout
Local Contacts: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Ranger District
Local Maps: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas; Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Topo Map: High Rock Lookout Loop Topographic Map
Guide Book: Washington Byways Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

7/1/2009

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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