Hike to High Rock Lookout



3.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1365 ft

Route Type


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.

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almost 2 years ago

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.


over 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.


🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Great write up!

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

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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