My Obsession with Fire Lookout Towers

I love new hikes.

Particularly ones that promise open meadows, no bugs and a fire lookout tower at the top.

I’m fascinated with fire lookout towers. I probably shouldn’t be. I mean, they are essentially shacks on stilts. But I’m certain that this fascination stems from many hiking treks across the North Cascades growing up. I was always blown away that a forest ranger would actually trek up a 6,000 foot peak and live alone in a tiny wooden shelter for an extended period of time. On the surface, frightening. But at the same time, it makes perfect sense. Being up there during the summertime with a 360 degree view of peaks…the odd silence of only hearing yourself breathing…the fact that the simplest of foods can taste like pure gold at that altitude. No phone calls. No emails. No locals news to flood your morning with news of fires and shootings. When was the last time you met a forest ranger on a trail and listened to them stress out about having to attend too many meetings that day? Not a bad gig.

This past weekend’s fire lookout destination was Granite Mountain. The mighty peak happens to have one of the only operational fire lookouts in the area. It’s a gem of a hike…


with utterly amazing views…


a picture perfect fire lookout…


and even some souvenir dust you can take home in your car.


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