#38 Ned Hill Olympic Mountains
First Visit: Mar 3, 2018
Lookout Type: pole platform tower
Site Established: 1933
Current Structure Built: 1933
Lat/Long: 47.96387°N / 123.17262°W
Distance (RT): 4.7 miles*
*Distance is usually 2.2, I had to add a few miles for road walking due to snow conditions.
Elevation Gain: 989′
Summit Elevation: 3,469′
What makes it special…
Though barely standing, Ned Hill is one of the few lookouts left on the Olympic Peninsula. Visit in June when the trail is bursting with wild rhododendrons!
This tower lookout was built in 1933 and though it’s barely standing, it’s one of the few remaining lookouts on the Olympic Peninsula. The Maynard Peak fire burned over the entire area in 1935, including the lookouts two main posts. Diagonal posts now help hold the structure, but who knows how much longer it may remain.
I haven’t been able to find many historical photos or additional information on Ned Hill, so if you have anything, let me know!
From Sequim, head west on Highway 101 2.5 miles and turn left on the Taylor Cutoff Road. In 2.6 miles, turn right onto Lost Mountain Road. Follow for 2.6 miles then take a left onto Forest Road 2870 (Slab Camp Road). In slightly less than a mile, turn right onto Forest Road 2875. In 3.5 miles you’ll reach a large parking area for Slab Camp/Deer Ridge Trailhead. Continue to the left and the trailhead for Ned Hill is located approximately another half mile. There is limited parking on the shoulder.
This trail is old, which means it’s direct and to the point! It wastes no time heading up and though it’s just over a mile to the top, you’ll work for every step. It’s over 30% grade in spots is a great workout but don’t worry, there are nice little benches along the trail for a break! Don’t expect views on this though, the hike is largely in forest with only peek-a-boo views at the top and nothing from the actual lookout.
I was surprised this past weekend to find so much snow on the trail! I had only worn trail runners but it wasn’t enough to deter me. The snow was 6-8″ or more in spots but still plenty do-able, even without snowshoes or boots. There were no tracks and I had the entire day to myself on a beautiful sunny day. Consider venturing to Ned Hill in June when flowers are in bloom because the entire trail is a jungle of rhododendrons! I may just have to go back!
Oh, and when you’re finished, head back to Sequim to load up on lavender and do some wine tasting at Wind Rose Cellars. For $20 you can get a flight and cheese plate. Their wine is delicious and I highly recommend it as the perfect post-hike reward!