The trail leading to the historic High Rock Lookout will be closed from August 19th to August 22nd. The closure is part of the ongoing restoration work by volunteers from Sand Mountain Society and the White Pass Country Historical Society at the lookout, which was built by the U.S. Forest Service in 1930 and 1931. The closure is needed to allow packers to transport supplies and materials along the trail during the restoration activities.
High Rock is located near the community of Ashford, Washington, within public lands administered by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The popular trail to the top of High Rock is 1.6 miles in length, climbing steeply to the rocky summit with its impressive views. Originally built for purposes of forest fire detection by the Forest Service, and seasonally staffed until 2002, the lookout structure is one of only four that remain in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Future restoration plans in 2021 will include disassembly and removal of the lookout cabin to conduct thorough repair and rehabilitation of the original architectural components. The lookout is suffering from 90 years of extreme weather, malicious vandalism, and neglect. Removal of the structure will allow volunteers to take the time needed to make repairs and prepare materials in a carpentry shop before they are returned to High Rock. On-site reconstruction and restoration of the lookout will occur in 2022, with seasonal volunteer staffing to follow.
If you are interested in getting involved in this project, please contact the White Pass Country Historical Society: https://whitepasscountrymuseum.org/ .