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Evergreen Mountain Lookout
Evergreen Mountain is one of the easiest big views in the region. With a lookout on the summit, you'll be amazed you didn't spend all day hiking there. Add in some amazing wild flowers and some nice old growth forests and you've got a great family trail. For years, the Evergreen Mountain Trail was inaccessible for most because a series of washouts on the access road. They were repaired in 2011 and the trail is now back in action...for now. Did I mention the 360-degree vista of surrounding peaks like Glacier Peak, Fernow, Spire, Bear and all the Monte Cristo Range!
Distance: 1.5 miles
Summit Elevation: 5,587 feet
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Access Rating: Good Gravel
From State Route 2, turn north onto the Beckler River Road #65, which is 0.5 mile east of the Skykomish turn. Follow the Beckler River Road for 8.6 miles to the 5 way junction at Jack Pass. (Pavement ends 5.6 miles after leaving Hwy 2). At Jack Pass, turn right onto Road #6550 and drive about 0.9 miles to Road #6554. Turn left and follow it for 6.5 miles to its end at a large parking and trailhead.
The steepest part of the trail is the first 5 minutes. After that it switchbacks up the mountain. After a half mile or so, the trail leaves a young forest area going into some nice old growth. Before you know it, it leaves the forest to climb the final flower meadows just before the summit. A final short airy ridge takes you to the summit lookout. Evergreen Lookout is now under the cabin and lookout rental program. The lookout will be locked unless it is rented out.
The lookout was built in 1935 for detecting wildfires. A fireguard or "lookout" stayed in the cabin during fire season watching for lightning strikes and forest fires in the Skykomish drainage. The lookout would site through an Osbourne Firefinder mounted to a stand in the center of the lookout. Once the lookout located a fire or smoke, he or she would radio to the Skykomish Ranger Station and give local landmarks to help firefighters locate the fire quickly.
Ellis and Faye Ogilvie, two of the Skykomish Ranger District lookouts in the early 1940s, met through a conversation over a two-way radio while they served as lookouts at Evergreen and Surprise Mountain. A short time later they wed and served together as the lookouts on Evergreen Mountain. During World War II, Evergreen Mountain was used as an Aircraft Warning Station. Ellis Ogilvie once said, "Evergreen Mountain was named wrong. It should have been called Everblack." The last big fire spotted on Evergreen Mountain, the Evergreen Fire in 1967, was inadvertently set by loggers during a timber operation on the south side of the mountain and burned the rocky south face of the ridge to within several hundred feet of the lookout. Remains of the fire are still evident. Evergreen Mountain Lookout remained active until the early 1980s.
In 1990 a local volunteer group adopted Evergreen Mountain Lookout and began restoration efforts. During restoration it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and nominated for the National Historic Lookout Register. Restoration was completed in 2000. The 14 x 14 foot lookout is comfortably furnished with one twin-sized bed and mattress, 3 extra mattresses, table, step stool, 6 folding chairs, twin burner propane stove, and 2 twin mantle propane lanterns. A wallow-wallow toilet (outhouse) is located several hundred feet down the ridge from the lookout. Water is not available at the site.
Ready to get into the trees
In the forest section
Leaving the forest into the meadows with lookout above
Views from the trail
Hiking the trail with Mount Fernow in distance
Nearing the lookout
Monte Cristo Peaks
Spire Mountain center, Bear Mountain on right
Mount Fernow to the south with Mount Daniel and Hinman in the distance
Monte Cristo Peaks
NE to Glacier Peak
East slopes of Evergreen Mountain
Kids on the summit