North Cascades | Glacier Peak-North Stevens Pass Area
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Location: 47.8108485,-121.5254144 Summit Elevation: 1,824′ Lookout Type: 63′ custom flat cab Site Established: 1925 Current Structure Built: 1964 Date Visited: 9/10/17
Heybrook was beautifully renovated in 2017 through a partnership with Filson and the National Forest Foundation and is now one of only a handful of Washington State fire lookouts that can be rented for the night.
Photos from a 2017 visit.
Although Heybrook is a low elevation lookout with only 100′ of prominence, it is a well known high point in the area and first hosted a platform tower built in 1925. A 45′ L-4 cab replaced it in 1932, then the existing 63′ tower was built in 1967.
Though Heybrook looks like an R-6 flattop design, the cab is unique. It was designed by the Forest Products Lab in 1963 at the request of USFS Region 6 engineers. They were looking for lightweight materials, including new wood products recently available but not yet used for lookout cab construction. Besides being lighter weight, the cab was to be prefabricated off site, then packed in bundles that could be delivered on site by helicopter. This procedure is similar to how the L-4 cabs of the 1930s were packaged to be delivered by mule train. Being a trial design, they elected to construct it at a location accessible by road. For whatever reason, cost or maintenance, this design has not been used again.
The lookout was registered with the National Historic Lookout Register in 2015 and in 2017, outdoor retailer Filson partnered with the National Forest Foundation to beautifully restore and renovate the lookout for rentals. In 2017 it opened for overnight stays and is bookable through Recreation.gov on a 6-month rolling basis.
Distance (RT): 2.6 miles Elevation Gain: 850′
The trail to Heybrook is short and well maintained, making it a great hike for all fitness levels. It traverses through a beautiful moss covered forest with newly constructed rock steps. Once at the lookout, climb the 89 steps to the viewing platform and enjoy the beautiful views of Mount Persis and Mount Baring.
If you do not have a reservation for the evening, please be courteous and considerate of others who may be spending the night.
Drive US 2 east from Monroe just over 22 miles past mile marker 37 and the sign for Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. There is a gravel parking area on the left (north side) of the highway where the trailhead to Heybrook begins.
Caution: Since the parking area is right off US2, it’s a well known place for car prowls, vandalism, and theft. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle here.