Long lingering plans to restore the historic High Rock Lookout in eastern Lewis County are set to become reality this summer thanks to a collaborative effort between citizen groups and the U.S. Forest Service.
The retired fire lookout station stands at 5,685 feet on the precipice of a 600-foot rock outcropping that gives a direct line of sight to Mount Rainier, and much of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest below. Over the years the forces of weather and time, along with the misdeeds of vandals, have left the lookout in disrepair and some believe it will soon collapse without extensive repair work.
According to representatives from the USFS and the White Pass Country Historical Museum, the goal is to make the lookout fully operational. Once work is complete, the lookout would then be supervised by volunteers during summer when visits to the site increase.
Juvenile work crews will help to cleanup the site as soon as snow melt allows access. A larger work party is slated for the week of July 15 work on the foundation and stabilization. However, due to the limited workspace at the top of the craggy outcrop, the size of the work crew will be limited.
Volunteers will set up at the trailhead beginning July 15 to share information about the restoration project with the public. Due to the logistical hurdles of transporting heavy materials and tools to the site, project organizers are hoping to persuade the Backcountry Horsemen to help move materials to the site.
An online account has been set up for anyone who would like to donate to the project. Donations can be made at www.PayPal.me/HighRockRestoration. Additional information can be obtained by calling 360-497-1100 or 360-494-4007.