The hike to the top of High Rock, one of the tallest peaks on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, is a unique experience. After climbing a 1.6-mile steep, rocky trail, hikers are greeted by a historic lookout built by the U.S. Forest Service in 1930- 1931.
The lookout is suffering from 90 years of extreme weather, malicious vandalism, and minimal maintenance. Over the past few years volunteers from the White Pass Country Historical Society have partnered with the Forest Service to stabilize and rehabilitate the historic building. This year work will include structural repairs and removing graffiti left by vandals. The forest and partners are looking forward to next year when larger restoration efforts will occur.
High Rock Lookout was originally one of a network of wildfire lookouts staffed seasonally by the Forest Service. Last used as a fire lookout in 2002, the structure is one of only a few fire lookout buildings left on the forest today. Once restoration efforts are completed, volunteers plan to staff this historic site and provide information to visitors during the summer season.
White Pass Country Historical Society, Sand Mountain Society, and local volunteers working in partnership with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest have made this restoration project possible. People interested in learning more about the project or in helping with this effort, should contact the White Pass Country Historical Society.
Those planning to visit High Rock Lookout need to have sturdy shoes, adequate water, and proper gear to get safely to the lookout and back. Hikers reaching the summit will be rewarded by impressive views in all directions. There are steep drop-offs, so visitors are cautioned to stay back from rock ledges and enjoy the view from safe distances.
For more information on recreation and current road status please visit the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest website.