Lookout Mountain (Twisp, WA)

June 4, 2022


Twisp, WA

Lookout Mountain is a very boring name as there are simple too many “Lookout Mountain”s out there. This is already my 4th officially-named “Lookout Mountain” bagged. This peak actually boasts a lookout tower on the summit, over 400 m prominence and is supposed to offer nice views of Twisp area. I noticed this peak simply by browsing the maps as I suspected that the ascent of Gilbert Mountain would end up being too short as a day-trip. Indeed, Eric, Selena and I finished the primary objective at noon so we really needed a secondary summit to make the long drive worthwhile. Lookout Mtn. was an easy sell given the shortness and the fact we didn’t really have to detour much by driving elsewhere. No one else came prepared with a different objective anyway.

The road system is correctly labelled on the Gaia map and even on Google Map so all we needed was to navigate by GPS devices. While driving down and out of Twisp River FSR we were hammered by some rain and it was still raining when we were supposed to leave the main road for Lookout Mountain. If I were here by myself I would skip this peak to go home but I was not alone so we had to press on. The drive to the trail-head was not a problem for our Toyotas but did get a bit rough near the end.

Lookout Mountain bike ascent. GPX DL

Eric and I decided to ride/push the bikes for as far up as possible since we brought the bikes anyway. We did not know if this trail was designed for biking but it’s never a bad idea to try it out. Selena didn’t bring a bike but she’s okay to walk and run. It turned out that this trail was probably actually meant to be biked. It was a bit too steep to pedal uphill for about half of the distance but the grade seemed to be ideal for the downhill. Unfortunately there was no view from the lookout thank to the thick fog layer.

A glimpse of views while still below the clouds ceiling
The typical trail on this mountain
Sections were too narrow and steep so we pushed
The upper ridge was mostly flat so we rode…
My bike’s ready for some downhill actions
We checked out the lookout building

We soon turned our attention to the descent. I let Eric to ride first as he seemed to be much stronger than me on the bikes so I could just follow his line. The ride was actually easier than I thought. The trail was very narrow at places but I was able to ride all but one short rocky stretch. Selena actually opted to trail-run so in no time we were all back to the vehicles. This was overall a short hike with only 300 m elevation gain. The day’s not done yet as we all had about 5 hours of drive to get back home and that was doomed to be an exhausting game. I ended up having to take a long nap near Diablo on Highway 20 and then stopped in Burlington for dinner. I eventually got back home at 9 pm which was actually not too bad. The border guards thankfully did not give me another random COVID test.

Eric starting the descent
Me riding down the trail. Photo by Eric G.
Eric driving down the long and winding spur road system
The best view of this peak is ironically from the drive-out…