• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1365 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Old 1929 fire lookout perched on slab of rock with gorgeous, vertigo-inducing views of Mount Rainier, the Tatoosh range, and Lake Cora (1800' below).

High Rock Lookout is aptly named. Perched at 5,685' on a slab of rock, it has sweeping views of the valleys below, Cora Lake, and Mount Rainier. Although it is only a short 1.6 mile hike to the top, it is a steep one. You gain 1,365' to reach the lookout, but the reward is grand.

The trail follows a ridge line through beautiful old growth forest, and is lined with huckleberry bushes, bear grass, and the less common trilliums. Soon you'll reach a bench, a good place to stop and rest. The trail keeps a steady incline, and finally deposits you onto the rocky ridge. Traverse up the rock towards the right to reach the lookout. Careful - a step off of the cliff would be fatal.

You'll want to stay to take plenty of pictures, to eat lunch, and to hydrate. The views from here are amazing! Cora Lake sits a dizzying 1800' below you, and on a clear day, this is one of the best views of Mount Rainier that you can find. Please be respectful of these pieces of Washington's history, so they can be enjoyed for years to come.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Food
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Extra layers
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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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Reviews

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This is 100% my favorite hike in all of Washington. The road up is a little sketchy but sooooo worth it.

5 months ago
5 months ago

Went on a clear summer day to watch the sunset - easily my favorite hike I've done in Washington. The mountains are endless. Best view on Mt. Rainier, but also Mt. Hood and what I believe is Mt. Saint Helens but not sure. Took about an hour to reach the top. Will 100% go back. But, make sure you have a good car for off roading. The way up had tons of deep pot holes.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great write up! Killer photos! Love this route <3

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Fantastic hike! BEAUTIFUL views of the mountains. The 9 mile dirt road to the trailhead is full of large pot holes. I only recommend making the trip to the trailhead in a high clearance vehicle.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Wow, spectacular views, and it makes you feel like you're on top of the world. Thanks for the write-up! One thing to add: the road is not well maintained, and even though there are two ways up, both are in equally poor condition. The road is about ten miles long of potholes and washout. Use caution when driving small cars!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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