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Burley Mountain

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
View map below

Length

14.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 4000 ft.
Highest Point: 5250 ft.

Rating

3.17 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

One of just three remaining lookouts on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Burley Mountain Lookout was built in 1934 and is still active today. This route utilizes nature trails, a forest road, and a short hiking trail to access this unique site just south of Highway 12.

Starting from the Cispus Learning Center (which features many nearby short nature trails) take the Covel Creek Trail to the Covel Creek Falls Trail. These tie in with the Angel Falls Loop Trail, and at a junction a mile from the trailhead, you'll arrive at a junction where you can either descend a quarter mile to Angel Falls or hop on the Burley Mountain Trail, which climbs steadily through dense second-growth forest. 

This forest renewed in the early 1900s after a series of forest fires in the Cispus Valley. As you hike, look for charred, blackened stumps, the remnants of the old forest interspersed with the relatively new growth. 

The trail ends on Forest Road 7605, three miles shy of the summit of Burley Mountain. Hiking the road, you'll arrive at the parking area for the lookout, and find the Burley Mountain Lookout Trail, which guides you the half mile from the parking area in the saddle below the summit to the lookout itself. This short trail climbs through huckleberries and wildflowers to the signature expansive vistas of a fire lookout.

 

Burley Mountain

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.4388, -121.8520 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Burley Mountain Lookout (#256A), Burley Mountain (#256), Covel Creek Trail (#228)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 333 McCoy Peak

Getting There

Take exit 68 from I-5 for Highway 12 and head east toward Randle. Turn south onto the Cispus Road (Highway 131 toward Mount St. Helens). After approximately a mile, follow Forest Road 23 to the left (also called Cispus Road). The rest of the way is well marked by brown Forest Service signs on the right hand side of the road.

From Randle, the center is 11 miles away. Turn right onto Road 28 and continue two miles to the Cispus Environmental Learning Center where you can park. The Covel Creek Trail is across from the entrance to the center.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Burley Mountain

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