Image: Craig Romano
Like the view? You can stay up here overnight in the old fire lookout.

Try This Trail: Evergreen Lookout

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 3 miles round trip

The hike is short and steep to this restored fire lookout perched in the Wild Sky Wilderness, but the views are sweet. Start in an old cut and burn zone, then steeply ascend Evergreen’s southwest shoulder; pause to catch your breath and perhaps sample a huckleberry or two. Views of the broad, U-shaped Beckler River Valley below should keep your mind off of the grind.

At 0.6 mile enter the Wild Sky Wilderness, established in 2008 as Washington’s newest wilderness area. Now you're in groves of old-growth mountain hemlock and the climb eases as the trail traverses a ridge to a small gap. You’re almost there—and you're in glorious meadows of purple, red, yellow, and white wildflower. Swing around the north side of the mountain and, after one final push, reach the 5,587-foot summit with its fire lookout.

Views? They’re amazing. Look south to Mount Stuart, Mount Daniel, Mount Hinman, and the Snoqualmie Pass peaks; Rainier hovers above them all. To the west it’s jagged Merchant, Gunn, Spire and Bear mountains. Be sure to look north to the Monte Cristo Peaks and east across rolling ridges and meadows.

The lookout was built in 1935 and revived by the Seattle Explorer Search and Rescue in the 1990s. It’s available for rental through the Forest Service. It's a room with a view and a flower arrangement.

Watch For: Bears frequent the berry patches of the old burn zone.

Getting There: From Seattle, follow State Route 522 to US 2 in Monroe and drive east to just past Skykomish. Then turn left onto Beckler River Road (Forest Service Road 65) and follow for 12.6 miles to Jack Pass. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 6550 and at 0.9 miles, bear left onto Forest Service Road 6554. Continue 8.7 miles to trailhead at its end.

Craig Romano is the author of nine Washington hiking books, including Day Hiking Central Cascades.

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