Kelly Butte is one of the more famous lookout tower in Washington State. The actual mountain is moderately popular despite being in a remote area of the Cascade Mountains and only being reached by forest road. It is highly recomended that a high clearance vehicle is used to make the trek to the trailhead. It has one of the better views of Mount Rainier in the state and is a very popular hike with families. At 3.5 miles roundtrip and under 1000 feet of elevation on now a very well maintained trail many average hikers can easily make the summit in under an hour and slower hikers can make it in under two hours.
With the new section of the trail up to Kelly Butte this trail is a very easy YDS Class 1 trail to the summit. This is though a recent addition that has happen in the past three year. Beforehand you had to go up a Class 3 gully with a fixed rope on it for full support to make sure that you did not kick rock on someone below you. The rope used to be the standard way up the mountain and is still an optional way up Kelly Butte which I personal like to do when ascending the mountain. It will meet up with the new trail 250 feet up the mountain.
As for the lookout for the long time the lookout was in serious disrepair. But in 2007, thanks to Bob Adler and of the volunteerswho have helped him, the lookout is in the process of being repaired. One of the major steps happened in 2007 with the roof being put on Kelly Butte. As of 7/5/10 they are still revoveting the lookout and the lookout now is in much better conditions. I want all of them for there hard work on renovating this gem.