Information about this hike provided in partnership with Mountaineers Books.
Copyright © Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books
South Point Lookout
This is largely an open, sunlit trail thanks to an old forest fire that leveled much of the forest canopy and created a series of new wildflower meadows and deer-filled clearings. The forest is returning, but the timber is sparse still, leaving lots of sun-dappled terrain to explore.
The trail angles upward from the trailhead, riding switchbacks through the fire zone. After passing the old burn sites in the first 2 miles, the route loops north around the head of a small basin (a seasonal spring seeps out of the hillside above the trail, but generally not enough to be a stable water source).
Once on the ridgetop, the trail angles south once more, climbing moderately for 0.6 mile, then very steeply through a tight series of switchbacks to top out at the 5980-foot South Point summit, just 3.5 miles after leaving the trailhead.
Look for remains of the old lookout tower that stood here during the middle of this century. The adventurous hiker can scramble along an old trail (no longer maintained) that rides the crest of the South Point Ridge south for a few miles. There is no reliable source of drinking water along the entire trail, so be sure to carry all you need.
From Packwood, drive 4 miles west on U.S. Highway 12 to a junction with Forest Road 20. Turn left (south) onto this road and continue 4.9 miles to the trailhead on the left.
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There are 1 trip reports for this hike.
South Point Lookout #123 — Jul 08, 2006 — Kim Brown
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I met Alan Bauer in the Gifford Pinchot NF for this wonderful hike to a fire lookout site. The trai...
I met Alan Bauer in the Gifford Pinchot NF for this wonderful hike to a fire lookout site.