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Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 10 January 2017
Location: South Cascades Region, East of Mount St. Helens
Roundtrip: 4,8 miles 
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Highest Point: 5464 feet
GPS Coordinates: N  46 18.820   W  122 02.179
Visitor’s Information:

Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass Required

Pictures below will take you on a virtual tour to the amazing vantage point - Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site. Enjoy the beauty of the landscape!

 Photo taken from the trail, leading to Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site, Mount St. Helens National Monument, South Cascades
General Information:

Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site used to be a fire lookout tower in Gifford Pinchot National Forest constructed in 1931 approximately twelve miles north-east of Mount Saint Helens. Nowadays not much has remained from the lookout tower itself as it was destroyed in late 1950’s and the only thing this place has to offer its visitors is an exceptional 360-degrees view of the surrounding area.

Exploring the amazing territories of Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, make sure to find time for this marvelous hike to Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site. Your reward will be an outstanding view of the crater of Mt. St. Helens, Strawberry Lake and Loowit Falls to the south, backcountry of Mount Margaret and amazing Green River Valley to the west, Quartz Creek Valley and Mt. Rainier towering in the northward direction, and much more.

Photo taken from the trail, leading to Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site, Mount St. Helens National Monument, South Cascades

Your hike will start at Bear Meadows, where one of the several viewpoints scattered along FR 99 is located. It is actually the place where Gary Rosenquist was camping together with his friends on the day of Mt. St. Helens’ eruption, and risking his life took a now-famous series of photos of the eruption in progress. Some of them are displayed on the interpretive stands at Bear Meadow Viewpoint and help to understand the sequence of the eruption stages.

Photo taken from the trail, leading to Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site, Mount St. Helens National Monument, South Cascades

From Bear Meadow Viewpoint you need to cross the Forest Road 99 and start following the Boundary Trail # 1, which will soon provide you with a fascinating view of Mt. St. Helens. In approximately 0.5 miles you will see the trail junction where you should keep right, to follow the Strawberry Mountain Trail (#220). This trail is very seldom used and sometimes it seems that it is abandoned as there are some logs overlaying it and from time to time it becomes shagged, but this doesn’t interrupts the hike. If you decide to hike this trail in summertime you will have a chance to soak in the beauty of wildflowers which are abundant here.

Photo taken from the trail, leading to Strawberry Mountain Lookout Site, Mount St. Helens National Monument, South Cascades

Climbing the ridge and running through a beautiful old-growth forest from time to time opening for the hikers spectacular views of Mt. Rainier, Goat Rocks and Mt. Adams. After hiking for about 1.9 miles you will reach the ridge edge and will see the boundary between the area damaged by the eruption and undisturbed forests – a unique and unforgettable sight. 

In 0.3 miles you will see the trail junction the right fork of which is the continuation of the Strawberry Mountain Trail leading to FR 2516. You should follow the left fork of it, leading to the lookout site which you will reach in 0.2 miles. Take a break, have your lunch there and just enjoy the peace and beauty of the nature!

 

These pictures were taken on August 11, 2016

Driving Directions:

Getting there from Randle you should drive for 2 miles southwards along SR 131, then it becomes FR 25 – continue following it for 17.7 miles more until the right turn on FR 99. Driving for 4.6 miles along FR 99 will take you to Bear Meadows (viewpoint and parking lot), where the trailhead is located.

GPS Coordinates:  N  46 18.820   W  122 02.179

In order to get directions click on the map below:

 

  

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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