Lookout Mountain, located south of Cle Elum and Easton, (not to be confused with the much shorter Lookout Mountain east of Cle Elum) is a great summit with great views of the surrounding region. This peak is seldom visited despite being located within an hour and a half away from Seattle. It often lies in the background of many of the western Cascades but has just as much appeal as many of the western counterparts. The summit is home to great views of the neighboring mountains south of Cle Elum and great shots of nearby Mt. Clify, this summit more than deserves it's name as lookout mountain. On the summit it is marked as Tano but Lookout Mountain is the official name that is located on all maps and web searches.
The most reliable way to get to Lookout Mountain is by Trail 1326 "Gramite Creek Trail. The first bit of this trail travels through a series of steep switchbacks heading up Granite Creek. Once on top of of the notch between Hicks Butte and South Cle Elum Ridge at the trail junction make right on the same Trail 1326 and take it past Hicks Butte and stay on it as it passes over a number of dirt roads and heads southwest over another ridge (as of 2010 no name for that ridge. The trail will pass by a number of clearcuts and will get the higheat part of the ridge. The trail than will continue southwest continuing it's gradual climb all the way towards it highest location 5700 feet just above Windy Pass. Once on the highest part of pass follow the ridge (faintly established on and of bootpath on to the summit of Lookout Mountain.
It should be noted that if you get onto Forest Road 4510 you can take it to a number of areas shortening your commute to the summit of Lookout Mountain. Without the shortcut the trip up to the summit of Lookout Mountain from the Granite Creek Trail is 12 miles roundtrip and 4000 of elevation gain.
Getting ThereVIA I-90:
Get off on Exit 78 and head south. Make a left on Westside Drive and take it south to Fowler Creek ROad. Take Fowler Creek Road all the way to the intersection showing directions to the Granite Creek Trailhead. Make a right there and pass through a development area and stay on the dirt road (hogh clearance vehicles recommended) all the way to the trailhead with the trail on the right.
Note for the shortcut: On the intersection with Westside Drive and Fowler Creek Road make a left onto Westside Drive. Take that two miles and make a right onto Woods and Steele Road. That road will eventually lead to Forest Road 4510 which will then ascend up over Cle Elum Ridge and continue for about 5-6 miles until it meets up with Trail 1326 in a number of spots. This will take at least 2500 feet of elevation gain away and 6 miles roundtrip. The road is definitely high clearance and in different parts of the season is closed though.
Camping is not recommended here due to the fact that this often home to heavy logging and dirt bike usage.
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