Red Top Lookout Trail

EASY 24 reviews

Red Top Lookout Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cle Elum, Washington that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
305 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

PLEASE READ DIRECTIONS HERE. GPS does not follow full forest road in this area. You can drive straight to the trailhead, but will not work using GPS coordinates. From Cle Elum, WA take Highway 903 east 0.4 mile. Continue onto Highway 10 E / 970 E. Continue to follow Highway 970 E for 9.7 miles. Continue onto US-97 N for 6.7 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 9738, follow 9738 west to Road 9702, follow 9702 south, then north to the trailhead just under Red Top Mountain, about 7 miles from Highway 97. Parking: There is parking for 20+ vehicles, and one vault toilet.

hiking
13 days ago

Incredible views! We went on a Sunday morning and only saw two other people hiking the trail. It’s a short trail but straight uphill. The lookout was open and staffed with volunteers. The road up was well maintained. Definitely worthwhile!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is easily one of my favorites. Red Top lookout is windy! But the trails leading to Agate beds were beautiful and filled with wild flowers blooming. The trails are overgrown in some areas but I think that's from the lack of hikers the trail has seen this year. Definitely a dog friendly hike.

nature trips
1 month ago

Mountain Views and wild flowers.

2 months ago

Nice & easy little trail. Amazing views at the top.

2 months ago

Several miles on a steep incline gravel road but worth it!
Directions from the app took me to the wrong spot and there’s spotty service. My friend googled the hike and those directions worked for him.

hiking
3 months ago

Road and trail are completely snow free. The trail is steep but really short. As of 5/20 the stairs to get onto the lookout are still locked. View was amazing. Also Alltrails directions will take you to the wrong place, use WTA directions.

hiking
3 months ago

Too much snow for a small car to traverse once you hit the fork near the top. A truck or four wheel drive might have better luck, but frozen snow was quite high and scraping the bottom of our car. Needs a few more weeks.

hiking
10 months ago

Sunday, 10/15/2017 - I've had this one on my todo list for years and finally got around to doing it. I've tried getting to all of the local fire lookouts and Red Top is one of the last. Unfortunately, they've locked the access hatch from the stairs so we could not get to the deck. It's still a pretty great view and worth the trip. I was concerned that the forest roads might be tricky to navigate because there's several of them on the map, but there is really only one road up there and it leads right to the parking area. The forest road is typical - rough and bumpy. Lots of red mud, so plan on your car needing to be washed. The hike is short, but steep in places and lots of loose rock near the top make it slippery. I didn't learn until afterwards about the agate beds a mile from the lookout. I wish I'd made it there too. There are several geological markers up there if you are into those. More here: http://cairnguru.com/trailreports/2017/10/16/red-top-lookout

hiking
10 months ago

First of all, don't always trust your GPS. My GPS took me to the wrong forest road. Luckily I checked the National Forest website for directions and was able to find the right forest road to the trail head. The views where great on this hike. The trail was a little steep, lucky it was a short hike. If you have kids that are a little nervous about heights or steep trails, don't take them on this hike. I learned this the hard way.

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

This app didn't bring me to the trailhead so I drove all the way up where the look out is only .25 miles away. Beautiful view.

hiking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I really liked this trail. It is short, easy to walk, beautiful and there are bunch of minerals to collect. We have found some really cool looking stones today and it was our first time here!

If you are looking for a beautiful views with less effort this is the right place for you. The road will take you pretty much all the way to the top and it's going to be just a short hike to the tower.

hiking
Saturday, June 14, 2014

This was a long drive up a pretty unmaintained road (every difficult if you have a car) for a very short hike up to the look out. It seemed that the trail itself, once you pass the look out, was primarily for agate miners and hunters. Not the most impressive hike I've done, but beautiful views and red rock made it interesting- plus look for agates!

hiking
Saturday, June 08, 2013

Very short steep trail but the view was amazing

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

hiking
Thursday, August 20, 2015

recorded

Sunday, August 16, 2015

hiking
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2011