Normally you’d have to take a plane to catch a glimpse of what floats above the clouds. But here in Washington, we’re lucky enough to have many mountain peaks where you can feel truly on top of the world. One of those spots happens to be High Rock Lookout, a stunning fire lookout located near Mount Rainier National Park.
High Rock Lookout is situated along the loftiest and most prominent point of the serrated Sawtooth Ridge, rising above the Nisqually River valley just south of Mount Rainier National Park. The lookout itself has stood since the 1930s, but is no longer staffed, according to Visit Rainier’s website. It’s actually one of the few remaining in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
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If you decide to give the hike a go, you probably won’t find the lookout. It was actually removed in 2021 for some needed restoration work, and they say it is set to be returned when complete sometime this summer. That being said, if the lookout has not been returned by the time you hike, you can still enjoy the lookout platform which allows you to take in the sweeping mountain views from 360 degrees.
This hike is a great one to enjoy all summer, but particularly at the end because it’s typically snow free until October. What’s more, it requires no pass to hike and is a moderate hike difficulty-wise at 3.2 miles roundtrip and a little over 1,300 feet of elevation gain. So take three hours out of your day and give this hike a go! You can learn more at Visit Rainier’s website.