Anvil Rock Lookout Site


Washington Lookouts

High on the south side of Mount Rainier, at an elevation of 9,584 feet, Anvil Rock sticks out on a shoulder which is prominently separated from the mass of the mountain. It was here in 1916 a stone masonry lookout shelter was located, one of the first in Western Washington. The firefinder was located outside the building. The structure was replaced the summer of 1927 with a standard D-6 or cupola cabin, which was used until 1942. Sometime after, maybe 1947, the Park Service administrators asked the structure be removed and brought down off the mountain. Rumors say that the men asked to do this task went up during a particular foggy day, dowsed the structure with gasoline, and torched it. They had no intentions of bringing it down the mountain piece by piece. Historical accounts say because of the altitude and other rigorous conditions, finding someone to man the lookout was difficult. Other accounts show the lookout was very successful at spotting fires for many years. Yet some have suggested the lookout was removed because it was too high, often above the clouds. It the early years around 1919, the Forest Service was seriously suggesting a lookout be built on the summit of Mt. Rainier! Today, not much of anything remains at Anvil Rock.
Elevation: 9,584 feet
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet
Road Access: Paved
Former Lookouts
Mount Rainier Trips
mount rainier map muir snowfield map Anvil Rock lookout Anvil Rock lookout Anvil Rock view Anvil Rock view Anvil Rock mount rainier
Anvil Rock from Pebble Creek at 7,200 feet
Me on Anvil Rock when I was 17
Looking Southwest - 1934
Looking Southeast - 1934
Looking North - 1934
Old map showing the Anvil Rock Fire Lookout, as well as Shriner, Freemont, Colonnade, Gobblers Knob and Crystal Peak
Mazamas Anvil Rock door Anvil Rock Anvil Rock
The Mazamas 1919
Man in picture below standing at Anvil Rock
Man in picture is at the firefinder
Anvil Rock door
A fire-lookout station should be constructed on the summit of Mount Rainier. The Forest Service has advocated such a station and would cooperate in its construction and furnish two observers or lookouts. The lookout station at Anvil Rock, at an elevation of 9,584 feet, is the most important observation point in the Rainier National Forest, and many fire have been located from this point. The park service shares in the benefit and protection afforded by this station, as well as the Forest Service and the general public. A lookout station on the summit, at an elevation exceeding 14,000 feet, would be of still greater service in the location of forest fires than the one at Anvil Rock. As a protection to parties making the summit climb, a shelter building at the top of the mountain would be of great value and might easily result in the saving of life in case of accident or physical exhaustion. The weather observations that would be obtained at this station could be of material value to the United States Weather Bureau. The Forest Service has indicated their willingness to contribute toward the cost of this building. The Anvil Rock station was built entirely at the expense of the park service. (Report of the Director of the National Park Service 1919 - 1920)
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