16 Scenic Fire Lookout Hikes

Panoramic views from the best seat in the house.

We know it really is all about the journey, but it's also great to have an epic reward to look forward to at the end of a hike. Lookouts formally used to survey and monitor forest fires dot the country atop some of the most scenic mountain ranges on the continent. These now retired or abandoned lookouts serve as the perfect place to rest up, eat lunch, and take in the view. There are hundreds of retired lookouts across the country, so take a look at our list of 16 epic fire tower hikes and start planning your next adventure.

1. Goat Peak, WA

Distance: 5 miles | Elevation gain: 1,400 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Derek Cook

2. Gold Butte, OR

Distance: 3.2 miles | Elevation gain: 800 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jeffrey Green

3. Mt. Beacon, NY

Distance: 3.9 miles | Elevation gain: 1,561 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Shaun O'neill

4. Coffin Mountain, OR

Distance: 5 miles | Elevation gain: 1,070 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jeffrey Green

5. Mt. Sterling, NC

Distance: 12 miles | Elevation gain: 4,200 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Brendon Pierson

6. Tolmie Peak, WA

Distance: 7.5 miles | Elevation gain: 1,100 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Mitch Pittman

7. Calpine, CA

Distance: 1.5 miles | Elevation gain: minimal | Learn more.

Photo: Clare Healy

8. Park Butte, WA

Distance: 7.5 miles | Elevation gain: 2,200 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Holly Johnson

9. Black Butte, OR

Distance: 4 miles | Elevation gain: 1,555 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jeffrey Green

10. Martis Peak, CA

Distance: 7.5 miles | Elevation gain: 1,700 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jason Barnes

11. Fremont, WA

Distance: 5.5 miles | Elevation gain: 800 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Mitch Pittman

12. Granite Mountain, WA

Distance: 9 miles | Elevation gain: 3,800 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Casey Sullivan

13. Angora Ridge, CA

Distance: 3.5 miles | Elevation gain: 500 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jake Young

14. Winchester Mountain, WA

Distance: 2.5 miles | Elevation gain: 1,300 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Beau Ramsey

15. High Rock, WA

Distance: 3.2 miles | Elevation gain: 1,365 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Jake Anderson

16. Mt. Pilchuck, WA

Distance: 5.5 miles | Elevation gain: 2,200 ft. | Learn more.

Photo: Scott Kranz

Don't see your favorite fire lookout hike on The Outbound? Show us by creating a new adventure!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!