From I-5, take the North Cascade Highway east for 39 miles to Marblemount. In Marblemount the highway takes a sharp left. Go straight, across the bridge onto Cascade River Road. Follow the Cascade River Road for 6.5 miles. About a quarter mile past the National Forest boundary sign, there is a small parking area and Lookout Mountain indicating the trailhead.

Lookout Mountain

Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,400 feet
Summit Elevation: 5,699 feet
Access rating: Level 1
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Route:
The Lookout Mountain trail starts low and has endless switchbacks in a deep forest, just barely breaking the tree line at the summit. You won't get any views until you basically reach the lookout. But, once there, you are treated with some amazing views of the rugged North Cascades. The summit is inside of North Cascades National Park. Hopefully the lookout will be open and you can enjoy the summit in the comfort of the shelter. I carried my 1 year old to the summit, snowshoeing the last mile. He was quite surprised to wake up from his nap in a bed with quite a view.
As the map shows, it's just a trail climbing a mountain. At times, it can get steep as the trail doesn't mess with a gentle grade. At almost 3 miles there is a trail split, be sure to go left. There is one open area just below the summit (where I shot the lookout from below). If there are bad snow conditions, drop a 150 feet or so to travel through the trees instead of the open slope. In summer, this should be a simple enough trail to the top.
Access:
Washington Cimbing
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Lookout trail Lookout Mountain lookout Lookout Mountain lookout Inside the lookout Inside the lookout North Cascades view North Cascades view North Cascades view North Cascades view Lookout Mountain North Cascades view Lookout Mountain Map
The Lookout
The lookout from the trail
Zoom in on the lookout
Taking a break on the trail
Inside the lookout
Inside the lookout
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