Hike to High Rock Lookout

3.2 miles 1365 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jake Anderson

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.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

My favorite hike in the Rainier area so far.

High Rock lookout in October 2018. Absolutely gorgeous and one of my favorite hikes so far. Would personally rate it moderate in terms of difficulty. 360 views at the top, 5 star hike. Caution of the road driving up to the trailhead. I would highly recommend a high clearance vehicle, there’s a lot of pot holes.

Best Bang for your Buck!

Hiked on 6.5.18 and it was beautiful! 2.5 hour drive from Seattle and there was no snow driving up to the trail head. There were some pretty big pot holes so I would advise a bigger car. We climbed up a ridge for about 40 min and reached an AMAZING 360 degree view of mountain ranges. It was short and sweet, with only a couple small patches of snow. You can do this in tennis shoes without poles/ snow gear.

ūü•ČContributor

about 3 years ago

Favorite Hike

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

Best Sunset Hike!!

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.

Explorer

ūü•áTop Contributor

about 4 years ago

Great write up!

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

Stay Nearby

Ashford, Washington

Big Creek

Overview Situated in the vicinity of majestic Mount Rainier, Big Creek is a family campground nestled among Douglas firs, hemlock, alders and maples. The lush vegetation offers plenty of privacy be...

Ashford, Washington

Mt. Rainier Guest Services

This 146 room Lodge and Inn offer a number of full-service restaurants and store. 

From $109/night

Loop C

Cougar Rock Campground

Overview Cougar Rock Campground, on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier National Park, is convenient to the Paradise area. Paradise is the most popular destination in the park, with a lodge and visit...

Loop C

Cougar Rock Group Campground

Overview Cougar Rock Group Campground, on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier National Park, is conveniently located to the Paradise area. Paradise is the most popular destination in the park, with a...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Kautz Creek to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground

    Named after the Native American who lived here prior to Mt. Rainier becoming a national park, So-To-Lick's was dubbed "Indian Henry" by the postman who unfortunately did not learn his name. When heading out on this hike, keep an eye on the weather...

    11 miles 2520 ft gain

  • Hike the Rampart Ridge Trail to Wonderland Trail Loop

    This is a wonderful loop to do that avoids some of the crowds on the flatter trails and gives you an amazing view of the mountain. Park in the Longmire parking lot where the National Park Inn and Longmire Museum are. Walk across Paradise Rd E to j...

    6 miles 1870 ft gain

  • Snowshoe to Longmire Lookout

    Starting at the Longmire Trailhead, cross the road and begin snowshoeing counter-clockwise on the Trail of Shadows.  This first 0.5 miles begins the hike as a nice warm up where you can make sure your snowshoes are adjusted properly and stop from ...

    4.1 miles 800 ft gain

  • Hike to Gobbler's Knob

    Entering the Park from the Southwest Entrance, bear left when you approach the forking Westside Rd. This road has been closed a few miles in due to massive rockfall. When you reach the road closure, just park along the side of the road. In Spring ...

    5 miles 1500 ft gain