Desolation Peak Lookout
US 272, WA 30
Desolation Peak Lookout

Desolation Peak Lookout - courtesy of Jim Henterly

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 272, WA 30 (view other lookouts in United States, Washington)
Date Registered May 20, 1998
Nominated by Ray Kresek, Washington Registrar
Location North Cascades National Park
Whatcom County, Washington
Coordinates N 48° 54.670' W 121° 00.967' (view using Google Maps)
N 48° 54' 40" W 121° 00' 58"
N 48.911160° W 121.016121°
Elevation 5,982 ft (1,823 m)
Administered by U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Cooperators North Cascades National Park


Desolation Peak Lookout was also established by the Forest Service on the Mount Baker National Forest and later transferred to the North Cascades National Park. The 14' x 14' L-4 ground house without catwalk was built in 1933 and remains active under the NPS. Accessible by trail 23 miles from the nearest road, or 13 miles up Ross Lake and then 7 miles of trail, it is one of the most remote active lookouts in the U.S.


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Desolation Peak in April (John Scurlock photo)

Desolation Peak in April (John Scurlock photo)

Cabin Detail

Cabin Detail - courtesy of Jim Henterly

Photo courtesy of Jim Henterly

Photo courtesy of Jim Henterly

Visit Reports

July 9, 2006: Josh Scholten


Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Good condition? Yes
Comments: The lookout has been repainted since I saw it last it was read now its Grey.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Comments: nice staffed lookout
Other enroachments? Defiantly no disturbances up here

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? Yes
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? nice camp in the area to


Staffed? Yes
I've been up here three time in three different years and I always meet the same lady

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response
that is done by the NPS with a helicopter