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Burley Mountain

South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
46.4388, -121.8520 Map & Directions
Length
14.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
4000 feet
Highest Point
5250 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Burley Mountain lookout. Photo: EckartS
  • Mountain views
  • Summits
  • Good for kids

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. Continue reading

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Hiking Burley Mountain

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.

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Burley Mountain

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.4388, -121.8520 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

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.

More Hike Details

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

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 333 McCoy Peak

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Burley Mountain

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