OverviewYes, another fire lookout summit.
Yes, another fire lookout summit named Lookout Mountain.
Yes, another fire lookout summit named Lookout Mountain in Washington.
This Lookout Mountain is located a few miles southwest of Twisp, Washington. Many years ago, there were nearly 700 fire lookouts located in Washington. However, due to many fire lookouts being naturally destroyed (fires, lightning, falling over, etc.), moved to other locations, or completely removed or torn-down, there are currently less than 100 fire lookouts remaining in Washington. Lookout Mountain has one of those remaining fire lookouts, helping make the summit a desirable location for many peakbaggers.
Lookout Mountain is accessible to the public and its trail system has an approach road currently accessible for most passenger vehicles. The Lookout Mountain Trail, as well as the adjoining Lookout Ridge Trail, is well-traveled and not difficult. Lookout Mountain is a great destination for a novice hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and people seeking great views. Many Top 100 peaks can be seen from its 360-Degree open summit.
The official elevation of Lookout Mountain appears to be the center of some controversy. Contour maps show an elevation of 5515' (the elevation for which this SummitPost page is using, until/unless proven otherwise). National Forest maps show an elevation of 5522'. The summit used to have a sign (which has since been removed or stolen) that showed a summit elevation of 5692'. This latter elevation is likely not correct and is much too high of a number.
The first fire lookout established on the summit was originally only a campsite lookout in 1916. By 1931, a log cupola cabin was constructed and used as a fire lookout structure for six years. In 1937, the present 25'-tall wooden tower with L-4 cab was constructed and regularly staffed every Summer season until 1997. This fire lookout structure is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register. During its regularly-staffed operation, this fire lookout location averaged over one dozen first reports of fires per season, helping establish the summit as a valuable location for finding and fighting fires in the region. The fire lookout structure is currently only used on an emergency basis. The cabin atop the fire lookout structure is locked and inaccessible to the public.
FROM TWISP, WA:
1) From Highway 20, turn south onto Second Avenue/Twisp River Road.
2) After 0.2 miles, veer left onto Lookout Mountain Road.
3) After nearly 5.0 miles, the road switchbacks and heads steeply uphill. 4) An access gate is soon passed (~3700' elevation).
-> If the gate is closed, park down at the open area at the switchback and hike the rest of the way. IT IS ILLEGAL TO BLOCK THE ACCESS GATE.
-> If the gate is open, continue driving nearly 1.3 miles to the road-end at a large parking area (~4300' elevation).
The Lookout Mountain Trail heads uphill from the back-left of the parking area. The trail initially looks like an old jeep-track trail, and gradually becomes more of a trail-walk-only trail.
Red TapeLookout Mountain Trail is accessible to non-motorized traffic only. This includes hiking, snowshoeing, biking, and equestrian use.
It is recommended to have a Northwest Forest Pass (parking permit) in every vehicle.
CampingLookout Mountain is located within Okanogan National Forest. As such, backcountry camping is allowed. However, camping is not allowed in the fire lookout structure or along the Lookout Mountain Trail.
Other campgrounds might be found near the town of Twisp, or possibly lodging accommodations can be found within Twisp.