Jumbo Mountain Lookout Site (1st Attempt)
Lookout elevation: Not proven (reported at 5801 feet)
Elevation gain this trip: 3,000 feet
Distance: 2 miles up
Access: Good Gravel
Date: November 15, 2015
This was a first attempt to find the Jumbo Mountain Lookout. Although the Darrington website says the lookout was located at the 5801 north summit, I'm not so convinced. The 1916 photograph of the lookout camp just didn't appear to me to be that high. I thought it would be worth the effort to check the long north ridgeline for signs of it's location. It was a big gamble but it was on a day of horrible weather that otherwise would have kept me home. In the end, we turned back at 4,000 feet as the snow was going to start hiding any of the few signs of the former lookout. Another 1000 feet higher was a 5,000 foot perch that looks promising. We'll be sure to return via the standard climbing route on the west side and climb the north summit to point 5801. If nothing there, we will descend via the north ridge and check the points missed at that 5000 foot level.
Checked points 2,982 and 4,028
Washington Fire Lookouts
If you choose for some reason to go up the north ridge to climb Jumbo, here are some directions. In Darrington, find Darrington Street in the south blocks of town. Follow this road until it turns to gravel, then follow up until you do the S switchbacks (two turnpins). Continue through a canopy of trees until you hit an old clearcut where the canopy disappears. Pass through to the next canopy. This is the trees you want to start in to find the most optimal old growth for ascending the hillside. (See aerial picture provided below). For standard route up Jumbo, continue to the road end where the landslide closed the road. It's about 1 mile to the climbers route for Jumbo and about 2 miles up the old road to the Squire Creek Pass Trail.
Jumbo Lookout Station - August 1916
This is the camp with the wooden lookout structure at the top right corner of the picture
Maybe a flat platform
Below: View from the highest summit to the north summit. Picture above could just match this location.
Photo by Randy on NWHikers.net (Climbed May 13, 2006)
We crossed this old trail going up the side of the north ridge. It was well built, wide enough for stock. We did not follow, good tread but overgrown with brush. It was climbing at a very nice grade.
Two former blocks of in-holdings inside forest service land were logged in the more recent past. Taking the old-growth between the two avoided the younger stands of trees.
Wind bent trees
#20 Nesta Brothers on Jumbo Mountain. Jumbo was named by Knute Nesta. Ore: Copper, Gold, Silver. Deposit: Ten veins from 2 to 10 feet wide. Improvements: A good cabin (source: DNR 1942 Inventory Report)
Area checked out on the 4,000 foot bench
Checking out the 3,000 foot bench, found very rugged terrain and a big perch for viewing down the Stillaguamish and up the Sauk (see image below).
Perch at 3,000 feet, Darrington below in the clouds
Jumbo Mountain Fire 2015
Squire Creek Wall
North slopes of Whitehorse Mountain
Near 3,000 looking up 2 bumps to 4,000
At 4,000 looking up to 5,000