Stampede Pass Lookout


Washington Lookouts

This was my first lookout building I ever visited, while I was in 6th grade in the mid-80's at Camp Waskowitz in North Bend. Of course, it had been moved there from Stampede Pass in 1974, but we didn't know that. I have a good memory of the trail hike to the lookout, there was even a few inches of snow in places. The Stampede Lookout was built in 1934 and had views of the Green River Valley to the west and the Keechelus Valley to the east. Stampede Pass is known for its NOAA weather station and the lookout was right next to it. Yet, the site is actually on a small knoll south of the pass, accessible by road, or you can hike the PCT from the pass. When plans came to destroy the forty foot timber L-4 tower, North Bend ranger Ken White got it airlifted by helicopter to Camp Waskowitz conservation camp as an exhibit for the thousands of school children who climb up each year to learn about the history of fire lookouts. The military called it a training exercise and in two parts, carried the tower 20 miles from the pass to North Bend. In 2014, I noticed at least 2 of the concrete footings still remain on site.
To get to Stampede Pass lookout site, take Exit 62 off Interstate 90 and head south approximately 5 miles to Stampede Pass (first mile is paved). Once you reach the summit, proceed down the other side a tenth-mile and turn left. You will drive by Lizard Lake. Just past the lake, make a sharp left turn and follow the road up to a Y. Turn right, soon passing underneath some power lines. At the next Y, make a left and follow the road to the communication site.
Distance: Drive-up or hike the PCT from Stampede Pass
Elevation: 3,963 feet
Road Access: Most of way on good gravel, potholes & ruts near end
A source says there was also a 20' L-4 tower 1 mile to the north of the main lookout for a time. (email me if you know where)
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Historic Photos
Black: Roads Blue: Trail
Ken White photo of the lookout being moved
Drive-up location
Looking North
Looking Southeast
Looking Southwest
NOAA weather station
The access road passing along the shoreline of Lizard Lake
Foundation blocks on the summit
Buildings at Stampede Pass communication site