High Rock Lookout

Mt. Rainier is seen from a viewpoint along the High Rock Lookout hiking trail Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

Nisqually Valley News contributor Jared Wenzelburger took a weekend trip to the ever-popular High Rock Lookout in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend. 

The High Rock tower was constructed in 1929, according to Park Service documents, and was manned until 2005. It is among only a handful of fire lookouts within the national park that still remain to this day. 

High Rock Lookout

Sawtooth Ridge is seen from the High Rock Lookout trail on Sunday.

With expansive views of Mount Rainier, the Nisqually River and surrounding jagged pillars of Sawtooth Ridge, the dramatic and steep 1.6-mile hike up to the High Rock fire lookout is well worth the drive and effort you’ll put in on the trail and on the road. 

High Rock Lookout

A hiker walks down from the summit of the High Rock Lookout trail sporting a mask as groups of hikers congregate in and around the lookout Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

Learn more about High Rock Lookout

Location: Heading south on Highway 7 from Eatonville, then keep straight onto Highway 706 toward Ashford. Take a right onto NF-52, then another right onto NF-84. Continue for 6.5 miles, then stay right onto NF-8440 for 2.6 miles until you reach Towhead Gap. 

Distance from Yelm: 1.5 Hours

Hike Difficulty: Medium, With An Elevation Gain of 1,365 Feet

Driving Conditions: Favorable, Some Potholes

Trail Congestion: Medium-High

Parking Pass/Fee: None

High Rock Lookout

Cora Lake is seen from the summit of the High Rock Lookout hike Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

A lone cloud drifts by Mt. Rainier on sunny day along the High Rock Lookout hiking trail near Ashford on Sunday.

High Rock Lookout

A lone cloud drifts above Mt. St. Helens Sunday afternoon seen from the High Rock Lookout hiking trail near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

Groups of hikers gather to take in sights and images from the summit of the High Rock Lookout hike Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

Clouds blow over Mt. Adams seen from High Rock Lookout Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

Luna, a Pomsky, leads hikers up the High Rock Lookout hiking trail Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

A group of hikers sport masks as they make their way down the High Rock Lookout hiking trail Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

High Rock Lookout

Groups of hikers gather to take in sights and images from the summit of the High Rock Lookout hike Sunday afternoon near Ashford.

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