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.
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