North Mountain is home to a network of mountain bike trails which can be accessed at many points along the North Mountain road, but the lookout tower is a destination in itself.
Although the 12 mile drive from Darrington may take longer than the 1.25 mile hike from the gate, it’s worth the trip to climb up the lookout tower. Stationed at 3956 feet of elevation, there’s a broad view even from the base of the tower.
Climbing up the tower steps, layers of mountains emerge to the east and the Puget Sound becomes distinguishable to the west. Below, the town of Darrington can be made out to the South, and Whitehorse Mountain is even more prominent across the valley than it is from town. In the eastern valley, the Sauk River can be seen carving its way into the mountains.
Although the lookout was originally constructed for the Forest Service to spot fires, it has long been neglected and is therefore currently in a state of disrepair.
Thanks to Friends of North Mountain, the tower is undergoing repairs and will be fully open to the public when repairs are complete. For the time being, the stairs are open for visitors to walk up, but the cabin itself is closed off.