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Washington Lookouts
List

Washington Lookouts

 
Washington Lookouts

Page Type: List

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Object Title: Washington Lookouts

 

Page By: gimpilator

Created/Edited: Oct 16, 2009 / Jun 12, 2014

Object ID: 564151

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Page Score: 87.31%  - 24 Votes 

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History



Many of the alpine recreation trails that we enjoy today were originally constructed by the Conservation Construction Corps to lead to sites where they built fire lookouts. At the height of their time in the 1930's there were over 8000 lookouts completed across the United States.

The vast majority of these structures have since been removed or destroyed. Many of them were burned by lightning strikes. It was decided that the cost of preserving these structures would far exceed their historic value. A few have been protected and in many cases these last remaining lookout have been adopted by an outside party or individual who takes the responsibility for repairs and structural safety. A fraction of the remaining lookouts are still used for fire observation during the summer.

 
High Rock Lookout
High Rock Lookout

This list will include the last remaining fire lookouts in Washington State. Those who have visited the peaks which have these structures on their summits understand the extra reward. If you know of a lookout which is not included in this list or if you have a photograph or new mountain page which is not shown below, please send me a private message.

Special thanks to Northwest lookout experts Rex Kamstra (www.firelookout.com), Redwic, Eric Noel, and Steph Abegg, each of whom provides research which has been very helpful for the creation and updating of this page.

For another list of the remaining WA lookouts, please see Greg Slayden's list on Peakbagger.com.

 
Candlelight, city lights, and moonlight on the Three Fingers Lookout
Three Fingers Lookout
 
Lookout Mountain Summit
Lookout Mountain Lookout
 
Fire Lookouts in WA
Cascade Lookouts Map

Recently Removed Lookouts

To help illustrate the rate at which these structures are going away, this section will keep track of the lookouts that have been destroyed or removed from the list of standing lookouts since this page was created in 2009.

DESTROYED, DISMANTLED, AND/OR COLLAPSED:


Lone Mountain Lookout was torn down by the Quinault Indian Reservation (Q.I.R.) early in 2012 to try to make money from selling the tower for scrap metal. With the costs incurred during the process, the Q.I.R. barely broke-even with that venture.

Pine Mountain Lookout was mysteriously removed some time between 2010 and 2012.

Lakeview Mountain Lookout has been reported as collapsed and confirmed via photo verification.

Kloshe Nanitch Lookout was removed by the Forest Service in 2012 after being defaced by vandals. Read more about it.

Sopelia Lookout burned down during the Satus Pass wildfire of Summer 2013.

The tower of Flagstaff Mountain Lookout was dismantled and removed by contractors in July 2013, to make room for a Homeland Security communications site to be constructed on the summit. The cab was moved to the nearby town of Northport, and has a tribute to long-time DNR Flagstaff Mountain lookout Gayle Kaste, as well as her daughter who had died in a Heartflite medical helicopter crash. An old newspaper article examined Gayle Kaste's 25+ years as the Flagstaff Mountain lookout as well as the status of lookouts in general at the time the article was written (2002).
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OTHER REMOVALS FROM LIST:


The Kalispell Rock Lookout was removed from this list of standing fire lookouts on June 9, 2014. The reason is because the actual lookout building has not been standing for many years. The summit of Kalispell Rock is a massive boulder outcrop atop which a small 5'x5' lookout shack was used from 1927-1934. The bouldertop lookout shack has long since been removed and the only remnants are a few nails, snags, and wire nearby, as well as a cement circle embedded in the summit which held the original firefinder in place. The only standing lookout-related structure at the Kalispell Rock summit area is a small log cabin below the summit boulder outcrop. The log cabin still stands but is missing its roof and door. The log cabin was constructed between two large boulder outcrops and would have ever had very limited views at best, so its status as a lookout structure was questioned. If the log cabin had been used as an actual lookout/fire-watching structure, then it would perhaps still be worthy of appearing on this list. However, it has been verified that the log cabin was only ever used by the US Forest Service as living quarters and not as a fire-watching location.

Threatened Lookouts

Fire lookout structures can disappear at any time, for a variety of reasons. The following fire lookouts are currently still standing but are known to be threatened for either demolition or removal in the near future.

North Mountain Lookout has been scheduled to be removed by the Darrington Ranger District since 2009, but is still standing. There are currently local efforts to try to save the lookout tower.

The tower of Big Butte Lookout was severely damaged during Winter 2010/2011 when a tree fell across a guy wire and broke several beams and planks. The USFS has plans to repair the damage but this was yet to be done as of early 2014.

The Tonasket Ranger District began proposing to remove the Cornell Butte Lookout during 2012, due to heavy vandalism and lack of official usage. The removal efforts have temporarily been put on hold ever since, while the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) is in negotiations to move the tower to another location.

A Montana-based group called "Wilderness Watch" attempted to have the Green Mountain Lookout removed, using the judicial system and lengthy legal battle to try to do so. Ultimately, the lookout was saved when the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act was created, passing unanimously in both chambers of Congress, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 16, 2014.

The List

Mount Adams12,276 feetYakima CountyCompleted 1920
Slate Peak7440 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1956
North Twentymile Peak7437 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1947
Mebee Pass7282 feetOkanogan/Skagit CountyBuilt 1933
Mount Bonaparte7257 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1914, 1964
Mount Fremont7181 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1934
Goat Peak7001 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1950
Hidden Lake Peaks6890 feetSkagit CountyBuilt 1931
Three Fingers6870 feetSnohomish CountyBuilt 1931
Salmo Mountain6828 feetPend Oreille CountyReplacement Built 1964
Columbia Mountain6782 feetFerry CountyBuilt 1914
Moses Mountain6774 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1938
Tyee Mountain6654 feetChelan CountyBuilt 1950's
Winchester Mountain6521 feetWhatcom CountyBuilt 1935
Monument 83 Lookout6520 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1953
Green Mountain6500 feetSnohomish CountyReplacement Built 2009
Sullivan Mountain6483 feetPend Oreille CountyReplacement Built 1960
Oregon Butte6387 feetColumbia CountyBuilt 1931
Grizzly Mountain6381 feetFerry CountyBuilt 1941
Copper Mountain6265 feetWhatcom CountyBuilt 1932
Table Rock6250 feetColumbia CountyReplacement Built 1949
Nason Ridge (Alpine Lookout)6235 feetChelan CountyReplacement Built 1975
Miners Ridge6208 feetSnohomish CountyReplacement Built 1953
Buck Mountain6135 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1961
Sourdough Mountain6120 feetWhatcom CountyBuilt 1933
Desolation Peak6102 feetWhatcom CountyBuilt 1932
Tunk Mountain6054 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1966
South Baldy5961 feetPend Oreille CountyReplacement Built 1960
Tolmie Peak5939 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1933
Mount Spokane5883 feetKittitas CountyBuilt 1934
Strawberry Mountain5863 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1936
Thorp Mountain5854 feetKittitas CountyBuilt 1930
Shriner Peak5834 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1932
Sugarloaf Mountain5814 feetChelan CountyBuilt 1949
Dodger Point5760 feetJefferson CountyBuilt 1933
Omak Mountain5747 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1986
Lookout Mountain5699 feetSkagit CountyReplacement Built 1962
High Rock5685 feetLewis CountyBuilt 1930
Jumpoff Lookout5670 feetYakima CountyReplacement Built 1958
Clearwater Lookout5660 feetGarfield CountyBuilt 1938
Granite Mountain5629 feetKing CountyBuilt 1955
Evergreen Mountain5587 feetSnohomish CountyBuilt 1935
Lookout Mountain5515 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1937
First Butte5491 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1938
Gobbler's Knob Lookout5485 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1933
Timber Mountain5474 feetPend Oreille CountyReplacement Built 1959
Park Butte5440 feetWhatcom CountyBuilt 1933
Kelly Butte5409 feetKing CountyReplacement Built 1950
Red Top Mountain5361 feetKittitas CountyBuilt 1928
Mount Pilchuck5324 feetSnohomish CountyBuilt 1938
Burley Mountain5304 feetLewis CountyBuilt 1934
Sun Top Mountain5271 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1934
Aeneas Mountain5167 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1980
Quartz Mountain5162 feetSpokane CountyBuilt 1979
Funk Mountain5121 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1943
Signal Peak5100 feetYakima CountyReplacement Built 1964
Cornell Butte5096 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1958
Mount Leecher5020 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1956
Indian Mountain5014 feetPend Oreille CountyReplacement Built 1953
Big Butte5009 feetAsotin CountyReplacement Built 1950
Red Mountain4965 feetSkamania CountyReplacement Built 2011
Puyallup Ridge4877 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1964
Keller Butte4811 feetFerry CountyReplacement Built 1964
Cody Butte4764 feetFerry CountyBuilt 1931
Whitestone Ridge4762 feetFerry CountyReplacment Built 1985
Gold Mountain4686 feetFerry CountyReplacement Built 1986
Watch Mountain4664 feetLewis CountyReplacement Built 1963
Armstrong Mountain4587 feetOkanogan CountyBuilt 1939
Satus Peak4182 feetYakima CountyReplacement Built 1976
Johnny George Lookout4090 feetFerry CountyBuilt 1938
Tower Mountain4000 feetStevens CountyBuilt 1975
Whitmore Mountain3949 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1953
Spokane Mountain3869 feetStevens CountyBuilt 1934
Knowlton Knob3852 feetOkanogan CountyReplacement Built 1966
North Mountain3824 feetSkagit CountyBuilt 1966
Franson Peak3786 feetFerry CountyReplacement Built 1986
Meadow Butte3620 feetKlickitat CountyBuilt 1944
Wellpinit Mountain3464 feetStevens CountyBuilt 1964
Ned Hill3464 feetClallam CountyBuilt 1933
North Point3320 feetClallam CountyBuilt 1939
Lookout Mountain3114 feetSpokane CountyReplacement Built 1976
Pyramid Mountain3100 feetClallam CountyBuilt 1942
Steliko Point2586 feetChelan CountyBuilt 1947
Mount Constitution2407 feetSan Juan CountyBuilt 1930's
Lorena Butte Lookout2160 feetKlickitat CountyReplacement Built 1974; Moved Downslope 2006
Heybrook Ridge1701 feetSnohomish CountyReplacement Built 1964
Goodman Hill480 feetPierce CountyBuilt 1955

Images