• Activities:

    Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Hike to amazing mountain views overlooking the Willamette National Forest. The Lookout coordinates are N 44° 37.307' W 122° 02.654'.

Coffin Mountain Fire Lookout is a beautiful day hike that takes you to its summit at 5771 feet elevation, covering roughly 1070 feet elevation gain.

To get to the Coffin Mt. trailhead from Detroit OR, travel east on Highway 22 for approximately 19.5 miles to Forest Road 11 (Straight Creek Road). Take a right on Forest Road 11 and travel for approximately 4 miles to the Forest Road 1168 intersection. Turn right on Forest Road 1168 and travel for approximately 3.5 miles to the marked Coffin Mt. Lookout trailhead.

The trail itself is in great shape and not too steep at all. Switchbacks are abundant and well constructed. About halfway up the hiking trail, you will be making your way across a gorgeous ridge meadow. In this area, many outstanding views begin to open up. During the wildflower season in spring and summer, look for gorgeous scenes such as Mt. Jefferson in the background with colorful wildflowers in the foreground.

Once at the summit, you will see a helicopter landing pad in the center, a radio communications tower on the west side and a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout structure on the east side. The fire lookout is actively staffed during the summer months. Be advised that while the fire lookout appears inviting to explore, it is off limits to visitors. However, the staff is typically happy to chat and answer questions.

On a clear day the view is unbelievable at Coffin Mt. A number of volcanoes can be seen, including Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt Washington, 3 Fingered Jack, North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister. As usual, I stayed for an epic sunset and hiked back in the dark.

Overall, I would highly recommend Coffin Mt. Fire Lookout as a wonderful day hike. It’s not overly strenuous and well worth the effort. As always, pack standard hiking essentials, and drink plenty of water. This is a no fee day-use area only, and camping is not allowed.

Happy trails!

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Day Pack
  • Water
  • High Calorie Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Jeffrey Green

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