West Twin Butte LO - Mosquito Lake Station

West Twin Butte is a boring peak except for one redeeming quality, their was a former lookout on the summit. That alone will direct many peakbaggers attention to the summit. Unfortunately, the trees are just about grown high enough to block all views. If you stand on the summit rocks balancing, you can get a small view. The summit trees were cleared in 1923 for a 12 by 12 ground lookout building with a cupola. In the 30's, it was replaced by a hip-roof cabin elevated 12 feet above ground.
Distance: 1/2 mile
Summit Elevations: 4,716 feet
Elevation Gain: 450 feet
Access: Good Gravel to last 1/2 mile, then 4WD
From the Gorge in Carson, go north on Wind River Road for 16 miles. Turn right onto Lone Butte Road for around 10 miles passing Tillicum Campground and Mosquito Lake. Turn left on gravel road (east to follow if you have map) and follow for just over 2 miles to a huge quarry and the trailhead. From the north, it's much more complicated, take FR 23 south out of Randle to FR 90. Take FR 88 up and over to Big Tire Junction, turn right on FR 885 (Lone Butte Road), follow to the gravel turn-off (you'll need a Gazetteer). You can also come in from the west through the south side of Mt. St. Helens.
South Cascades
If you have high clearance 4WD, West Twin Butte can be a fun challenge to get up avoiding a fall into the road ruts. Most will want to walk the last section of road. I would guess the Forest Service occasionally grades the road so you might get lucky. Up to point 4260 marked on USGS maps, the road was well maintained and any car could get there. That just leaves about a half mile of walking. The road ends just below the highpoint. You still must do some bushwhacking to reach the summit. There is a nice trail, the brush is the problem, it has overgrown the trail although the trail tread is still there. At the end of the road, look for the trail to the right with in the main turn around area.
West Twin Butte West Twin Butte Lookout Lemei Rock West Twin Butte Lookout Map
View south to Lemei Rock and Sawtooth Mountain
The lookout foundation
West Twin Butte from Steamboat Mountain
Good Road
To Steamboat Mtn.
To Carson
To Trout Lake
Former Lookouts
twin buttes twin buttes twin buttes map map twin butte
1931 Map
1939 Recreation Map
Current Map
West Twin Butte in 1950
west twin buttes
Twin Butte Lookout 1924
Lookout History:
A D-6 cupola lookout was built here in 1923 after the forested summit was cleared. It was replaced by a 12 foot high wooden L-4 in 1935. The tower and cab were removed by burning in 1963.
Looking North 8-12-1935
Looking Southeast 8-12-1935
Looking Southwest 8-12-1935