North Mountain Lookout

In summer, the lookout is a short walk from the gated North Mountain Road our of Darrington in the North Cascades. From just out of town, there is a mountain bike trail network around the flanks of North Mountain. In winter, snowshoe trips and winter scrambles are possible.

Getting There


From SR-530 in Darrington, drive North Mountain Road 12.1 miles to where it is gated—reach its junction with Forest Road 2811 at 6.7 miles, turn left at 7.7 miles, right at 8.8 miles, left at 10.9 miles, right at 11.4 miles, and reach the gate at 12.1 miles.


From SR-530 in Darrington, drive North Mountain Road for ~2 miles, past the North Mountain Skills Park. In winter, the road splits ~0.8 miles from the skills park—park here. There should be parking for about 10 cars.

On the Trail

In summer, hike 1.25 miles to the lookout (3,956 ft). Enjoy goof views from the base of the tower and climb its steps for even better views of mountains and the Sauk River valley to the east, the Puget Sound to the west, and Darrington and Whitehorse Mountain to the south.

Scramble/Snowshoe Route

Snowshoe and winter scramble routes are exploratory. From the parking spot,  the summit is NNE. There are multiple options to travel to the summit, following a variety of mountain bike trails and roads along the way. To make it more scrambling, leave the trails at 2,800 ft and follow the steeper northeast ridge section to the North Mountain summit and lookout. An alternate route, starts at 3,100 ft further up the road and follows a direct NNE approach to the summit that avoids the steeper sections. This is a very long climb, gaining 2,700 feet of elevation over 12 miles. While there is not much technical scrambling, there will be some post-holing if the snow is deep and not consolidated.


  • Difficulty: *Varies*, Easy, Winter Scramble
  • Length: 12.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft
  • 3,824 ft
  • Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX
  • Green Trails Darrington No. 78
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  • North Mountain

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