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2013: Old Fire Lookouts

1C4T8745A network of manned fire lookouts once dotted many of the peaks of the Cascades. Most are gone now, but two remain and beckon to visitors who want to experience an afternoon of gorgeous solitude.

Getting to Burley Mountain

From the Twin Cities: Head south on Interstate 5. At Exit 68, go east on U.S. Highway 12 for about 50 miles to Randle. Turn south on Forest Road 23 for 10 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 28 and go 1.3 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 76, past the Cispus Learning Center, and go about 3.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 7605 and drive 7.5 miles over rough terrain. Turn left on Forest Road 7605-086 and travel one final mile to the lookout.

Getting to High Rock

The High Rock Trail 266 begins on Forest Road 8440. To get to there from the north, take state Route 706 from Elbe to Ashford. Proceed east past Ashford for about two miles and turn south on Forest Road 52 (Skate Creek Road). Continue for about five miles to Forest Road 84. Go south for about seven miles to Forest Road 8440. Turn right and drive just under three miles to the trailhead on the right.

From the south, take Forest Road 52 north from Packwood and go about four and a half miles to Forest Road 47. Turn left and continue for about seven and a half miles to Forest Road 84. Turn right and proceed for about seven and a half miles to Road 8440. Turn left and go two and a half miles to the trailhead.

Forest Road 84 can also be reached from Randle via Forest Road 47, which begins just east of White Pass High School on Silverbrook Road. The junction with Forest Road 84 is about 14 miles from Randle. From there, proceed as if driving from Packwood.

* All of the roads listed can be driven using most passenger cars, but a truck or SUV is a better option.

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