By Washington standards, Steliko Point is a mountain of small proportions. It's only 2586 feet high and has 106 feet of prominence. Most hikers and mountaineers will not go to Steliko, but lookout enthusiasts will. At the height of the lookout period there were about 700 fire lookouts located on summits in Washington State. The most recent count reveals that now there are only 92. Many of them were burned by lightning strikes or purposefully destroyed after becoming old and falling into disrepair. Some were blown over by wind storms.
The lookout on Steliko Point is in good shape and should last for a long time even if it's peers are going the way of the dinosaur. There are records that Steliko Point was used as a camping and viewing spot as early as 1925. The current lookout tower was built in 1947 and is still used for emergency fire detection during electrical storms. Speaking of electricity, it's one of the few which is close enough to civilization to be wired into the grid.
There is no official trail on Steliko Point but there is a road which goes all the way to the summit. Although the road will be closed during times of snow, the summit is accessible by foot all year long. For those who prefer not to drive up, the west ridge is a nice easy alternative. Game trails and stock trails can be followed most of the way through open grassy slopes scattered with sage brush.
West Ridge Route
This route ascends 1226 feet in 1.3 miles. Park near the Forest Service storage sheds at the beginning of National Forest Road 5310. Ascend 400 feet up a steep slope to the top of the northern-most west ridge. Numerous braided game trails make the going easier even though it is steep. From the top of the west ridge the going becomes easier. Continue to ascend in a westerly direction following stock trails which contour a few barbed wire fences.
The lookout will first come into view around 1900 or 2000 feet. The best views from the summit are of the higher peaks to the north, including Tyee Mountain, Storm Mountain, Baldy Mountain, and Forest Mountain. The lookout itself is locked but access to the viewing platform is open.
Getting There / Driving Directions
From Wenatchee drive north on Highway 97 Alternate for 14.5 miles. Keep in mind that there are two Highway 97's, one on each side of the Columbia River. You want to take the one on the west side of the river. Turn left onto Entiat River Road and continue 10 miles to the tiny town of Ardenvoir. Drive another third of a mile past Ardenvoir and turn right onto National Forest Road 5310. It's another 1.7 miles to the summit. Near the top there are two forks in the road. Keep right at the first fork and left aqt the second.
Trip ReportsFebruary 2011 Trip Report by Wildernessed
March 2009 Trip Report by Monte Dodge