Snoqualmie Lookout (Tokul Lookout)
The Snoqualmie Tree Farm is a huge block of undeveloped land located in King County. With so much developable land so close to Seattle, the County decided to purchase the development rights. Deep inside this farm is the location of the former Snoqualmie Lookout. It was built in 1942, as a 50 foot pole tower with an L-6 cab on top. It was removed or destroyed in 1965. Shortly after its removal, the Cascade Lookout was built to watch over the tree farm, but it was located to the NE several miles on a high ridge 2,000 feet higher. The tree farm was owned by Weyerhaeuser for many, many years before selling to Hancock Timber in 2003, who then sold it in 2015 to Campbell Global. These latter companies have required a non-motorized day use permit to enter. It was $8 in 2016, purchased online, print and carry with you at all times. Inevitably, the farm will change ownership again so google Snoqualmie Tree Farm Permit to inquire costs.
Elevation: 1,692 feet
Distance: 9 miles one-way
Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet
Access: Good Gravel
From North Bend take Ballarat Street north off North Bend Way in old North Bend. Follow this road becoming 108th St. then 428th Ave NE. At 4 miles is a left at a big Y, (go uphill). Follow the road 7.6 miles to a gate on the left. See access permit information above.
Use the map, there are many road splits. There are also other ways to reach the "Junction" intersection at the mid-way point. This route follows mostly old railroad grades so the biking is fairly easy going, but it is still 9 miles one-way. The last half mile is overgrowing and must be done on foot.
This site was logged in 1937 with the help of a rail line going nearly around the knob. In 1939 a lookout man was housed in a tent as a temporary measure. The following year, in 1940, a ranger cabin was built. This replaced the need for the High Rocks lookout 12 miles to the north. (32nd & 33rd Annual Reports of the Washington Forest Fire Association) The lookout tower was built in 1942. 60 years after the first harvest, in the late 90's the site was re-harvested. During that timber harvest, whatever remaining foundation remnants of the tower and ground buildings were removed or buried. A few logging cables remain on top. Just east of the flattened summit is a cliffy area. On the north side of the cliffs was the garbage dump, where you can find numerous items, mostly old batteries used in the radios. Somewhere in the mossy rocks at the east edge of the summit is the Canyon 2 benchmark. It was set in 1973 after the 1937 Canyon Benchmark disappeared.
Railroad grade now road
Final road to the summit turns right and quickly becomes overgrown
Overgrowing road to the summit
A small view still left
Items at the garbage dump
The top inch of the pot lid was sticking out of the dirt
View up to the ridge where the Cascade Lookout was located
Harvest area offers some views
Viewpoint showcasing Bellevue
Above and below: the lookout location
Metal parts and burned wood thrown off the cliff near the garbage pit
Snoqualmie Lookout 1956
1953 Aerial Photo - with tower and ranger cabin
1950's Topo Map showing road to summit and how a railroad grade went around the entire ridge.
Focus your eye until you see the Lookout tower. The darkest spot is the shadow of the tower.