Trip Report    

Intermediate Snowshoe - Lookout Mountain (Methow Valley)

Lookout Mountain is a great winter scramble destination with views and minimal avalanche issues. Point 4855 is perhaps a more appropriate intermediate snowshoe destination.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Our sturdy group of seven met at the plowed turnoff from Hwy 153 to Libby Creek road and settled into three cars.  We found parking along the straightaway after the turnoff to Elderberry Canyon, possible for us, but maybe not right after a snowfall.  We donned snowshoes right at the cars, and followed the trough built by one of our party members who luckily for us had elected to winter camp up the road at the two mile mark.  Thank you!

From that point, we left the road and climbed steeply uphill about 400’ to intersect the road and shortcut the long lazy road switchback.  At the end of the road, the terrain drops very slightly and then begins to climb another 1000’ through woods along a ridge until gaining point 4855.  While we had some food breaks before that, we had lunch at this point, enjoying views south and west to the Chelan Sawtooth peaks. We were also glad to have climbed above the valley fog that had been persistent of late!


After lunch, three of our party had enough of climbing and retraced our trough back to the cars, a decision made easier by the presence of cell service along the majority of the ridge.  The remainder of us continued, dropping about 200’ and following the ridge for some distance until it began to make the final climb to the lookout, gaining yet again 1000’.  WTA’s route description says there are not much views before the summit, but we found that not to be true.  The views slowly get wider, and there are only occasional trees, but indeed, the lookout affords a 360 view.  


But time was fleeting, and being mid-January, we booked it back down, but needed another repeat break at point 4855 for more sustenance.  We managed to get back to the cars just as darkness would have required headlamps.

Recommendations for future parties:  A great trip, but would consider point 4855’ more of an intermediate snowshoe destination, and the summit to be more of a winter scramble destination given overall committing distance and elevation gain.  We carried ice axes, but never needed them.  Perhaps might have if the snow had been crustier or icier, but not on our day.  Views once out of the trees are amazing, and solitude can be close to guaranteed.  If only doing point 4855, consider taking the loop trip down the ridge line between Elderberry and Chicamun canyons, but do your research first to avoid private property down near the plowed road.  Enjoy!  Think snow!