Location: 48.877738, -117.248908 Summit Elevation: 6,483′ Lookout Type: 22′ timber tower with R-6 cab Site Established: 1926 Current Structure Built: 1959 Date Visited: 9/9/18
The road to Sullivan Mountain is one of the highest mountain roads in Washington and may also be one of the worst roads to a fire lookout in Washington. To deter vandalism, stairs have been removed so access to the cab isn’t possible, but the views and solitude from the summit are absolutely worth the visit.
Photos from 2018.
Sullivan Mountain has been home to three lookouts: a cupola cabin in 1926, a 20′ pole tower L-4 cab in 1935, and finally, the present 20′ treated timber R-6 build in 1959. The tower was last used in 1970s and remains abandoned with the upper stairs removed to prevent access and vandalism.
Distance (RT): 1.2 miles Elevation Gain: 220′
The road is gated about a half mile below Sullivan but it’s an easy short road walk up. If you have time, consider hiking some of the Crowell Ridge trail, which follows the mostly treeless ridge from Sullivan Mountain through the beautiful Salmo-Priest Wilderness, affording tremendous views of the surrounding country.
Looking down at Sullivan Lake and the surrounding wilderness.
Gorgeous panorama of Sullivan and the Salmo-Priest Wilderness.
There are two different roads that lead to the top of Sullivan. From the north end of Sullivan Lake, I followed NF-2212 (the Highline Road) about 3.5 miles, then turned left onto NF-245 and continued roughly 6.5 miles to the summit. The road is narrow, rocky, and rough in places, so high clearance 4WD is highly recommended. On my way up I ran into some BMW touring bikes coming down and it was well… a little sporty!