Hike to Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout

3.5 Miles Round Trip - 1320 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Twin Lakes Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Beau Ramsey

One of the greatest reward for least amount of effort in the North Cascades. Stay the night in a historical Fire Lookout (1st come, 1st Serve). Campsites at lake or on the summit area.

Winchester Mountain is said to have the greatest reward for least amount of effort in all the North Cascades. One of the last fire-lookouts in the region stands on the summit. Views from the summit of Winchester Mountain are beautiful and dramatic to say the least. Being one of the easiest hikes on Hwy 542, it gains only 1,300ft in 2.5 miles from Twin Lakes.

NOTE: A high clearance vehicle is required to drive Twin Lakes Road beyond the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead. Otherwise park at the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and hike 2 miles and 1,600ft to Twin Lakes (5,200ft). This will change the total mileage from 5 miles round-trip to 9 miles.

GETTING THERE:

  • From I-5 take exit 255 (Sunset/Mt Baker hwy) and drive east 31 miles to the town of Glacier
  • Drive another 13.5 miles and take a left on forest service road 3065 (Twin Lakes Road)
  • Drive 5 miles (stay left at all forks) park at the Yellow Aster Butte/Lake Tomyhoi trailhead
  • From here high clearance vehicles may be able to drive beyond this point but it gets very rough. Park at Twin Lakes Trailhead.

Tags

Camping
Fishing
Photography
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Details

3.5 Miles
1320 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Deming, Washington

Silver Fir Campground

Mount Baker Highway

Excelsior Group Camp

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Douglas Fir Campground

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Horseshoe Cove Campground

Nearby Adventures

Winter Hike to Winchester Mountain

3.5 Miles Round Trip - 1320 ft gain

Hike Yellow Aster Butte and Tomyhoi Peak

7.5 Miles Round Trip - 2550 ft gain

Climb Ruth Mountain and Icy Peak

17 Miles Round Trip - 6000 ft gain

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Stunning

Easily one of my favorite overnight trips to date. The hike quickly takes you uphill (slightly strenuous, but overall easy) so just give yourself time to recover when you need it. The views are INCREDIBLE. We went in mid September and the temperatures quickly dropped into the mid twenties at night but we were well prepared with our winter gear.

Gorgeous Hike

One of my favorite hikes when I lived in Bellingham. The best views I witnessed up there was right after the first dusting of snow but the fall colors were still bright orange and red.. Very beautiful scene!

One of the best hikes in the area!

Had a great time backpacking to the lookout tower, although steep the hike is relatively short and only takes around an hour to complete. Definitely one of my favorite views of Mt. Baker. Try to come on a new moon to see the milky way and aurora borealis!