North Mountain

North Mountain Fire Lookout in 2008, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

North Mountain Fire Lookout is relatively young being built just back in 1966, making it only 44 years old in 2008.  This lookout started out as a tent camp with a fire-finder back in 1962 and this old fashioned type of lookout was not modernized until 1966 when a 41 foot treated tower was constructed with an R-6 flat-top cab.  At one time just about every major mountain peak had a Fire Lookout on it to safeguard our forest from fires either through human negligence, lightning strikes and dry weather conditions. Our Fire Lookouts and the men and woman that "manned" them left behind a legacy of history for the Northwest.

Looking east toward Sauk Prairie from the lookout, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

Every morning they would look out over the surrounding forest with a Firefinder in search for smoke, and it was a constant watch for the rest of the day. If there was smoke, it was radioed in to the Ranger Station and help would be on the way. Most of the old Fire Lookouts are now gone today. Many were simply abandoned, several were destroyed between 1965 to 1967 and vandalism claimed others.

Looking west toward Mt. Higgins & down the Stillaguamish Valley, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

North Mountain was a good choice for a fire lookout, there far reaching views from all four directions.  Currently there is a group, the Friends Of North Mountain working toward restoring this lookout to be used as an interpretive building and vacation renta
Looking to the north from the lookout you can see clear to Mount Baker, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

Looking south toward Whitehorse and Jumbo Mountains, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

To go to North Mountain Fire Lookout drive north of Darrington to North Mountain Road which is also Forest Service Road #2810, (there will be a sign on SR 530 saying Whitehorse County Park) this road will take you winding up North Mountain for 11.5 miles when you will come to a gate. The lookout is a short walk from there and is currently locked so you may not enter the building. The lookout is in need of repair and the Forest Service keeps it locked as a matter of safety, so please respect this. It is still a wonderful bit of history to go and see. There are beautiful views along the way and you are up for the challenge it is an excellenMountain Bike ride.
The North Mountain Lookout restoration project:
See video of the lookout before restoration, North Mountain Lookout from drone.