Sobieski Mountain is a mountain peak located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest of Washington State. The summit of the mountain is approximately 2.4 miles physical distance southeast of the town of Skykomish. However, driving distance is much greater. The mountain can be seen overlooking Skykomish to the south, and is most recognizable by its summit communications tower that can be seen from the town.
The Washington Division of Forestry, which later became the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), used to have a fire lookout at the summit of Sobieski Mountain. The name of the lookout was "Maloney Mountain Lookout", due to the peak's close proximity to Maloney Ridge located southwest of the mountain. An L-4 cab lookout had been moved from the slopes of Galena Mountain (now called Iron Mountain, located south of the community of Galena) to the top of Sobieski Mountain in 1941. By 1942, the lookout became an AWS cabin. By 1953, the lookout once again was a L-4 cab type, which was then destroyed in 1969 by the Washington DNR. No remnants of this lookout remains. Currently, King County uses the summit as a communications tower location. Access to the communications tower and its control building is prohibited. However, the summit area is accessible to the public.
Views from and near the mountain summit are far-reaching. Glacier Peak is clearly visible to the north. Alpine Lakes Wilderness peaks such as Bald Eagle Peak and Silver Eagle Peak can be seen to the southeast. Maloney Ridge can be seen to the west and southwest.
No hiking is required to reach the summit of Sobieski Mountain. However, hiking and mountaineering options are possible from any part of the mountain. An avid mountaineer can trek south of the summit to the Maloney Lakes. The summit area marks a good location to begin backcountry trips, as well. Hikers might prefer driving south on Forest Road #6846 along the eastern slope of the mountain, leading to the trailhead for Evans Lake Trail #1069, entering into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Some adventurers might even attempt following Maloney Creek or Anthracite Creek to and from the mountain.
Getting ThereThe total mileage from Skykomish, Washington, to the summit of Sobieski Mountain is 13.4 miles. Here are the driving directions:
1) Drive east along Highway 2 from Skykomish, Washington turnoff.
2) After 1.8 miles, take a right turn onto Foss River Road.
3) Foss River Road turns into Forest Road #68. Follow Foss River Road/ Forest Road #68 for 11.6 miles, ending at the summit of Sobieski Mountain.
Essential GearNo essential gear needed to travel to the summit of Sobieski Mountain.
If hiking into surrounding wilderness, it is recommended to have "10 Essentials". Green Trails Map #175 can also be very helpful.
Red TapeThe communications tower and communications tower control building, both located at the summit of Sobieski Mountain, are private property (owned by King County).
If parking a vehicle on or near Forest Road #68, or along any adjoining forest roads, a Northwest Forest Pass is required for each vehicle. A single-day Northwest Forest Pass costs $5, while an annual Northwest Forest Pass costs $30. Northwest Forest Passes can be purchased from ranger stations or REI stores (if not also other outdoor recreation stores) within Washington State.