• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9.4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4500 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

This hike features amazing panoramic views of the Cascades and offers more solitude than nearby Hidden Lake Lookout. This is a great destination for either a day hike or overnight. First come, first serve to stay in the lookout tower.

Beginning about 7 miles down the Cascade River Road from Marblemount, the Lookout Mountain Lookout trailhead is on the north side of the road with parking for about 4-5 cars. With about 4500' elevation gain in 4.7 miles, this hike is definitely a thigh burner.

The trail begins with a steep climb through a dense forest. With little relief or view of the mountains beyond the trees, seemingly endless switchbacks make their way up the hillside. After a long, steep two and a half miles, you will reach a split in the trail, which leads to Monogram Lake. (Note that Monogram Lake is in the North Cascades National Park, therefore dogs are not allowed there. They are, however, allowed at Lookout Mountain.)

There are several water sources along the trail at this point, so make sure to fill up while you can. There is no water source as you reach the summit. After the split, the trail finally leaves the trees, and mellows out for a brief period with exposed views to the south. The trail then heads into the final stretch to the summit. The lookout is within sight, but only after another series of switchbacks are you rewarded with the lookout itself.

At the top, it is clear why the lookout is placed here! 360 degree panoramic views sweep the summit. The tower is first come first serve, so head out early if you plan to sleep there. There is plenty of room on the summit for camping as well. Be wary though, it is very exposed, so if there be prepared for foul weather and winds on top the summit!

Pack List

Day hike:

  • Water
  • Food
  • First Aid Kit
  • Layers (down jacket, rain coat, etc)
  • Navigation (compass, map)

Overnight - All of the items above plus:- Backpack- Tent- Sleeping Bag- Water filter- Plenty of food- Stove and fuel- Head lamp

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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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Check out the fire watch at the summit.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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