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More Washington State Parks
Trying to visit them all......
More Former Lookouts
Baker Point
Dillard Point
Jefferson Ridge
Webb Mountain Upper
Chasing the quest to visit all 700+ former lookouts in Washington
Sulphur Butte
Pleasant Valley
Webb Mountain Lower
Barlow Point Trail
Barlow Point a great viewpoint at the heart of the Mountain Loop Highway. With its history from the trailhead to the summit and easy access, if there was ever a place to rebuild a fire lookout, this would be it. A Forest Service Guard Station stood at Barlow Pass for many years providing a phone line connection between Forest Rangers posted here and at other stations in Darrington, Monte Cristo and Silverton.
Finding The Blackjack Ridge Lookout
Abandoned around 1950, this lookout may have remained undisturbed for 65 years. This is why I had to find it! The location on Blackjack Ridge is so obscure, there really isn't any reason people would come across the site. How it was accessed is currently a mystery. The location is odd as much of the site is surrounded by old-growth timber. On the lookout point is a scattering of bolts, wires, metal, the stove pipe and even the wood stove nearby. Getting to it is quite an adventure, not one for the average hiker.
Lookout Mountain - Glacier Creek Road
I have gotten out and summited something on New Years Day for the past 18 years. This year 2015 was Lookout Mountain, which is located just West of Mount Baker, not to be confused with the Lookout Mountain near Bellingham, or the one near Marblemount. The snow was exceptionally deep and full of air in the brush below. Lucky for us, this was mostly a road walk that had a snow grooming machine and snowmobile tracks. But, the second peak had no such tracks and took a half hour to climb the first 100 vertical feet!
frost mountain
Battle Ground Lake State Park
Lake Easton State Park
Belfair State Park
Paradise Point State Park
Barlow Point belfair lookout mountain blackjack
Flower Appreciation
Milwaukee ned hill lookout Pacific Crest Trail Palm Springs San Jacinto Peak Foothills Trail
More Former Lookouts
Chasing the quest to visit all 700+ former lookouts in Washington
Foothills Trail - Puyallup to Orting
This is a section of the Foothills Trail that goes from Puyallup out to Orting. Much of the trail is visible from the road out to Orting. Level and paved, this was part the longest section of the Foothills Trail to be completed long ago. Today, the trail continues in both directions beyond, but this trip report just covers the section between Puyallup and Orting. By starting in Puyallup, you can end your trip at the Orting McDonalds, which gets the kids really excited to bike to. As the pictures show, much of the route passes farmers fields and small tree farms. Near the end, the trail is near but not next to the busy road....but views if Mt. Rainier is out make up for the noise.
Milwaukee
Milwaukee might not be a destination city for tourists but it is Wisconsin's largest city, there is quite a bit to see and do. The city is right on the waterfront with a river meandering through skyscrapers, similar to Chicago. With just an afternoon, the riverfront walk is a must to get a feel for the city. A River Sculptures display runs along the River Walk from Michigan Street north to Juneau Avenue. With more time, a stroll along the waterfront parks is worthwhile and accesses attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum and the War Memorial Center.
Palm Springs
For Southern Californians, Palm Springs is a popular weekend getaway. For the rest of us, Palm Springs is a vacation offering 350 days of sunshine. Stand at the airport baggage carrousel and you quickly realize Golf is the main activity in Palm Springs. But, even non-golfers can have a good time soaking up the sun, enjoying the regional sights, attractions and resort deals. Below are a few sights from a 2 day visit in February with 80 degree temps.
San Jacinto Peak
Towering over Palm Springs, San Jacinto Peak rises well over 10,000 feet directly above. San Jacinto Peak is the highpoint of the San Jacinto Range and has nearly 8,300 feet of prominence making it the 6th most prominent mountain in the lower 48 states. The naturalist John Muir wrote about the summit, "The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!" Many routes up exist but the Palm Springs Aerial Tram whisks people up from the valley to 8,516 feet, making the easiest ascent route. Then it requires a 5.5 mile trail hike up with a remaining 2,500 vertical foot climb.
Pacific Crest Trail - San Jacinto Wilderness
Hiking north on the PCT, the San Jacinto Mountain Range is the first major test for hikers as they must climb up to the 9,000 foot level on San Jacinto Peak. Along the range, the trail drops up and down multiple times climbing the slopes of multiple peaks. Most of the route has no water during most months, requiring dropping off the ridge at key points hiking one or two miles downhill to a spring. During my February visit of this section, I chose to hike from the 9,000 foot highpoint down to the desert.
Sauk Lookout Tree
Red Mountain
Ned Hill
Big Skidder Hill
Branson MO Entertainment
Foulweather Bluff Guillemot Cove Kosmos Hill Pilchuck Tree Farm Point No Point
Pilchuck Tree Farm
This location makes for an interesting hike. It's located on the Pilchuck Tree Farm, which has numerous hiking, biking and horse trails. This particular section of the Pilchuck Tree Farm has the Pilchuck Glass School, which offers serious instruction at a nice facility in a natural setting. No entry is allowed but you can hike all around the complex. This loop trip circles around the school, in order to visit the elusive Pilchuck Monument. This memorial monument isn't exactly easy to find and many have missed its location. Bring a good map.
Kosmos Hill & Lookout
Kosmos Lookout is a prominent highpoint due east of Morton, usually not shown on maps, that has over 1,300 feet of rise. On the summit in 1947 was placed a 90 foot steel observation tower with 7x7 foot cab on top, that was WWII surplus. Next to the tower was a small house used as living quarters. The foundations for both structures are still there. In 1963, right where the steel tower was located, a 50 foot wooden DNR live-in tower was built. This second lookout lasted until destroyed in 1968. The footings of this lookout still remain, overlapping the footings of the steel tower. This hike offers excellent views, especially if you take scenic routes to the summit.
Foulweather Bluff Preserve
Near the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, Foulweather Bluff Preserve incorporates six distinct habitats within a scant 100 acres. Forest uplands abut a sizeable brackish marsh and lagoon, which in turn is enclosed by a long, stabilized sand berm. The adjacent 3700 foot long beach is fed with sand from eroding bluffs, and extensive tidelands offer opportunities for close examination of intertidal life. Visitors to the preserve are welcome but to respect the wildlife, there is no dogs, no clamming, no souvenirs to carry out, no restrooms, no fires, just birdwatching, photography and other forms of nature appreciation.
Point No Point
The Point No Point Light House is the oldest lighthouse on Puget Sound, erected in 1879. The point was named by the Wilkes Expedition in 1841, and the 1855 Point No Point Treaty was signed at this location by Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens and leaders of Chimacum, Skokomish and S'Klallam tribes, ending the Indian wars. Today, the site is the location for people flying kites, fishing for salmon, walking their dogs, hunting for shells, boat watching and building sand castles. Unlike most of the rocky shores on Puget Sound, this beach is huge and all sand.
Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve
Located on Hood Canal, Guillemot Cove (also known as Frenchmans Cove) is a undeveloped Kitsap County park full of trails and some rather unique locations to see. The main highlight of course is the beach, with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Boyce Creek flows out from the woods and kids love playing where the water cuts through the sandy beach. Guillemot is a type of coastal bird and there are lots of birding opportunities around the cove. Other sites include the old beach house, a barns and even a house made inside a giant cedar stump.
coldwater peak elk rock
Coldwater Peak
There are many mountains in the National Monument just north of Mt. St. Helens, but the most popular is Coldwater Mountain. Once a sight of a lookout tower, today it is the site for numerous research instruments. Hiking from the Johnson Visitors Center, Coldwater is the first mountain of real prominence. Trails approach the mountain from three directions and a nice final trail switchbacks up to the summit. As pictures show, the views are spectacular. Coldwater Peak was right in the blast zone in 1980.
More Former Lookouts
Chasing the quest to visit all 700+ former lookouts in Washington
Elk Rock Lookout Site - Mount St. Helens Area
Ted Gilbert Lookout Site - Mount St. Helens Area
Humphrey Mountain Lookout Site - Inside Green River Watershed
Scenic Beach State Park
Kitsap Memorial State Park
Goman Peak Keystone Point Teanaway Butte
Oklahoma Gulch (Goman Peak & Byrd Point)
This hike at the eastern edge of the cascades nearly starts at the Columbia River, climbing 3,000 feet to the former lookout sites of Goman and Byrd. The route is along the Oklahoma Gulch Road, part of a wildlife area that gated to motorized use during winter and spring. Activities are discouraged as they impact wintering deer but many go this time of year due to easy access. I must have saw 30 to 40 deer in just a few hours in March.
Keystone Point
This trail has a lot to offer, the views over the Columbia River are terrific, the open grass slopes are like mountain meadows and the finish actually feels like a high summit. In reality, the ridge drops just a bit and then continues to higher points. Do this hike in April or early May and you'll find a flower garden. Do much later than that, and you will find excessive heat and plenty of snakes. If you don't mind a bit of snow, the parking lot is usually cleared all winter.
Teanaway Butte
Usually done in winter, Teanaway Butte is a popular snowshoe from either Jungle Creek or the Middle Fork near Indian Campground. Teanaway Butte is a Backcourt List peak, a 1,000 plus prominence peak, and the site of at least 2 former lookout sites. To walk the historic route, take the access from the Middle Fork which at the halfway point was the site of the original lookout, called Middle Teanaway.