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#38 Ned Hill Olympic Mountains

Location: 47.96387, -123.17480
Summit Elevation: 3,464′
Lookout Type: Pole platform tower
Site Established: 1933
Current Structure Built: 1933
Date Visited: 3/3/18

Ned Hill is one of the few standing lookouts left on the Olympic Peninsula. Due to its poor condition, it may not last even another decade, so if you have interest in visiting standing lookouts, get to this one soon.

Photos from 2018 visit.


History.

This tower lookout was built in 1933 and is one of the few remaining lookout structures 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!


The route.

Distance (RT): 4.7 miles*
*Distance is usually 2.2 but I did this in winter and added some extra road walking mileage due to snowy conditions.
Elevation Gain: 989′
Summit Elevation: 3,469′

This trail is old, which means it’s direct and to the point, my favorite kind of trail. Though it’s only just over a mile to the top, you’ll work for every step, but there are plenty of nice benches along the way to take a rest.

Most of the way up is through forest but there are some peek-a-boo views near the top. No views to speak of from the actual lookout, but visit it while you can because it certainly won’t last for much longer. Consider going in June when wild rhododendrons turn the trail into a colorful show.


Ned Hill makes a great excuse for Sequim sightseeing.

I hiked up to Ned Hill as an early season excursion in March 2018. There was still 6-8″ of snow on the trail, a bit more than expected, but it was a quiet, beautiful outing. I parked a little ways below the trailhead due to snowy roads, which added an extra 2 miles.

With Ned Hill being such a short outing, it’s also perfect to combine with a Sequim sightseeing tour. Thanks to the Olympic rain shadow, Sequim is often a banana belt and its beautiful sunny weather also makes it the lavender capital of North America, rivaled only by France.

After my hike to Ned Hill I headed to town, loaded up on lavender, and did some wine tasting at Wind Rose Cellars. For only $20 you can get a flight and cheese plate. Their wine is delicious and I highly recommend it as the perfect post-hike reward!


Directions.

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.