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Red Mountain Lookout

South Cascades


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
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8.0 miles, roundtrip


Highest Point: 4968 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Near the famous Indian Racetrack in the Indian Heaven Wilderness, Red Mountain Lookout makes an excellent addition to any outing here. Hike there, or make it a quick stop from the road -- either way, it's a must-see.

From the Falls Creek Horse Camp, the Indian Race Track trail travels southeast through second-growth forest. Falls Creek is crossed, and then you enter the Indian Heaven Wilderness. Proceed uphill through rocky terrain for one mile to a meadow where the grade flattens.

This is the Indian Race Track, where the Yakama, Klickitat, and Columbia River tribes gathered each year for decades. Berries were harvested, and horses raced, hence the name.

From the race track, a side trail (171A) leaves Trail 171 and heads east for a half-mile before connecting with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT)

The Indian Race Track Trail 171 then climbs from Indian Race Track to the road near the summit of Red Mountain. This summit houses Red Mountain Lookout, built in 1910 and replaced twice over the years, this one of the last remaining active lookouts on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

In 2010, 13 volunteer with the Passport in Time program restored the current lookout. The Passport in Time program is a Forest Service program that allows volunteers the opportunity to garner archaeology and historic preservation skills.


Red Mountain Lookout

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 45.9085, -121.8113 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

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Getting There

From Highway 14, take the Wind River Highway north from Carson to a right onto the Panther Creek Road. Follow until a right onto Forest Road 60, also known as Carson Guler Road. Follow Forest Road 60 for 1.5 miles to the gated FR 6048 on the left. If you see a trailhead for the PCT, you went too far. The road is paved until the last 1.5 miles which becomes good gravel.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Red Mountain Lookout

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