Explore Fire look outs - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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beautiful and amazing trail, but there were so many bugs! seriously! everytime we stopped we would get swarmed. besides this it was a quick and hard hike. My group didn't start until about 5 and made it down by 9. The snow was unexpected but pleasant and refreshing to see.

I love how the hike is short, and intense. The view was breathtaking but the bugs were out there and WILD. The majority of the view was covered with smoke from the wild fire but it was still beautiful. I love how for this trial you get 360 view all around you.

We did this hike last week. We luckily counted on a break in the smoke from the Canada fires. The views are stunning and there are still some wildflowers along the trail. I highly recommend this trail but do it early and on a weekday if you can.

hiking
20 hours ago

This has to be one of the best trails in all of WA!! Great views and not too bad of workout.

I was worried about the drive up, the bugs and crazy amounts of people. The drive up is rough like all the reviews say but my ford focus made it no problem. Just take it slow and you'll be fine. I didn't wear bug spray and they were non existent. I left the trail head at 7:30am to beat the crowds. At the top there were just a couple people and a few volunteers. On my way down (after 9:30) there was 100+ people making their way up.

The views are incredible and the actual hike itself is not bad for a fit individual. Took 3 hours round trip with 30 minutes at the top. Well worth the drive from South of Seattle.

My tip would be just to arrive early and you'll enjoy it way more!! This is a great hike.

excellent trail with a great view.

hiking
23 hours ago

Beautiful hike all the way up. Definitely tough with the quick elevation but the views make it totally worth it. Bugs are an awful but as long as you’re moving they aren’t too bad. Very seep ledge and no flat surfaces at the top, I would not feel comfortable bringing younger children. I saw some people in flip flops walking up and that is just a disaster waiting to happen.

This wasn’t my favorite hike for several reasons. This is a VERY populated hike. Way too many people on this touristy trail. The view and scenery was just ok. For a beginner, I’m sure it’s spectacular. But I’ve been on more beautiful hikes in the Mt Rainier and Mt Baker areas. It is a nice soft and well groomed trail but extremely dusty and dirty. Your shoes will be covered with dust/dirt after this hike. It took almost 7 miles (3hrs) in and out to the Freemont Lookout so its a nice little walk with some inclines. I would rate this as moderate. The view of Mt Rainier was fairly obstructed by all the wildfire smoke unfortunately. You are not able to access the lakes here because they are off limits but there are lots of trail offshoots and loops. The best thing about this hike for me was the wild life. Saw a marmot, lots of chipmunks, and other little small mammals that look like gerbils and guinea pigs! Also, be aware that on weekends, the line through the ranger station at the park’s entrance at 410 is crowded and will take a long time to get through even with a pass.

Hiked up to the lookout today 8/13/18. Started at 7:30am and was the first one at the empty lookout. Unfortunately it is entirely socked in with smoke at the moment, making the views extremely limited at the top. The hike itself was pretty strenuous but beautiful. Wildflowers galore! The road up to the trail is in pretty bad shape. Definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle and some good tires. (My outback did fairly well)

Es hermosa.

Great hike with wonderful views of the lake at the end! Scenery changes often with forest at the beginning, followed by meadows that transition into alpine vegetation and finally the overlook of the beautiful lake at the end. We found camping spots on the ridge just before getting to the National Park, but you could also camp about a 1/4 mile before the ridge and find many spots. Very difficult to actually get down to the lake. Road takes a while on the drive in/out so plan accordingly.

hiking
2 days ago

The view at the top was good but crowded. My favorite part was the alpine lake near the look out point. The water was so clear and cold. I went in and swam to the other side where there was still snow. Overall would recommend if you are looking for an easy and short hike with a view of Mount Rainier.

Nice trail with a great view from the top of Mt. Pilchuk!

There was a point where you think that the hike is done by seeing the lake but then you realize that there’s still huge cliff to hike. It was hard for inexperienced hikers but very self-rewarding. If you don’t bring the national park pass then wait for a 30$ ticket that can be then used for 7 more days in the Rainier area. The lake was unfortunately pretty cold but the hike itself is really good and pretty :)

A late start at 2:45 on a mostly sunny warm day. I only hiked until 5 and then turned around, only because of the late start. This is definitely a strenuous trail, more on the downhill trip. Fantastic views at a couple of places where the trees thin out. I am going to try this trail again and being trekking poles to help on the descent. The pics at the top seem to make the trip worthwhile.

Amazing, had such a good time

Firstly: to get to the trail you have to drive about 15 miles on lose gravel. If you have a small car, you will want to go slow unless you don't care to spend money on issues that could be avoided because it is rough. If you have a car that is high off the ground and has the appropriate tires, then you may not have to go as slow but just be careful. Otherwise, this trail is moderate with some strenuous uphill sections, but the distance makes it doable because it is not very long. Trail is well kept, easy to follow. I did not have any issues with bugs or mosquitos at all. I mean there were just a few of them but it wasn't like there were herds of flies following me, although at the tower I did spray some just a few times. This trail is BEAUTIFUUUUUL. The lakes are gorgeous and it is so worth the effort and the drive!! It is like a hidden gem.

hiking
5 days ago

Rocky trail. At first I was looking at the data and wondering why this trail was rated as hard, but it all made sense because of the extremely rocky trail starting at 1 mile from the trailhead. However, the view at the top made it all worthy. We camped near the lookout (it was soooo crowded), and watched the Perseid Meteor Shower!

There was a little stream at 4347 ft, and also a lake on the north side with some distance which was not easily accessible. Otherwise there was no water after you get started on the rocks, so bring enough water on hot days.

This hike is awesomely hard and rocky. Even though the views today were obliterated by smoke from the wildfires (we accidentally missed the media's warning to avoid strenuous outdoor activity), the gorgeous and dynamic rock formations made the effort worth it. We did not see as many people or bugs as previously reported, probably a positive side effect of the smoke. For dog owners: I would recommend this hike to dogs that are used to hiking on rockfaces and unstable surfaces. Our jack russell terrier made it up the mountain like a champ, except we did not take him on the final rock scramble because the rocks were too big and slippery for him to gain the appropriate traction. On a clear day, I can imagine the view from the top is breathtaking.

Good hike for all. It’s a little steep, but not too bad. Brought my 13 year old nephew and 18 year old daughter. Both had no problem. A little smokey. Bugs are around so bring bug spray.

BTW. Whoever left cigarette butts on the trail should apologize. I removed them for you.

hiking
7 days ago

Great views of lake Mowich as well as Lake Eunice on the way up to the fire lookout.

hiking
7 days ago

This hike was exhilarating! I highly recommend everyone try it at least once. We went on August 12, which was a little overcast. Check the weather before you go so that you hike on a day to meet your expectations. An overcast day keeps you cooler, but you will miss some of the views. Overcast worked for me, as I skipped some of the trails the closer we got to the top. For an extra challenge try some boulder jumping. This was an amazing experience!

view was socked in but it was beautiful on the way up. trail was well kept.

Spectacular!!!! There was smoke from the fires but none the less excellent hiking... 8/9/18

Oh sweet Jesus this was challenging! Mostly because it was so hot! Went on Wed Aug 8 and it HOT! But what a beautiful hike and views at the top we’re worth it... I went alone but in hindsight might have been good to have company... I appreciated the meditative time with nature.. Enjoy!

Fantastic hike with challenging elevation, well worth with 360 view at the top

Amazing Views!! You really need do this on clear day, cause you can see all four Mountains...
It's a must do if you love hiking, but it's good climb...

Easy trail to navigate. Bring bug repellent! The views from the top are world class. Pay close attention to the weather, I imagine clouds would kill the view if you head up on the wrong day. The drive to the trailhead is easy. Anyone terrified of heights should be hesitant. Caution at the top is a must, the lookout is literally at the edge of a cliff.

The intensity level reflects what is stated on the site, HARD. I’m new to hiking and this hike was very rigorous and exhausting. I’m not in the best shape and I have asthma so I took many breaks on my way up. My legs started giving up once I was almost at the lookout but a group of hikers let me borrow their trekking pole. You definitely meet nice people when hiking :)

Tips:
- Bring bug spray, you don’t really feel the mosquitos and flies unless you stop.
- Drive VERY carefully on the last 6 miles before arriving at the parking lot as the dirt/gravel road is filled with a lot of potholes.
- Wear hiking shoes as you are walking over LOTS of rocks.
- You need a parking permit (Northwest Forest Pass), which you can purchase at Verlot Public Service Center for $5.
- Bring plenty of water and a snack.
- Take breaks as needed.

hiking
11 days ago

Went on Saturday 8/4 and it was busy! If you do a weekend get an early start or you’ll be parking way down the hill. Went from Mowich to Eunice to the lookout.

Holy shit, bring big spray. Bust out that DEET! We brought some hippie natural organic stuff and it did not work whatsoever. These mosquitos were of a different breed! Great trail, took my 60 year old Mom and she took her time and had a great day. Picnic at the top and hope Mt. Rainier is visible! Great hike, but bring that bug spray!

I'm fascinating about Lookouts, this one didn't disappointed me even though was locked & views were limited secondary to local fire.

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