The hike to Red Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness area of Washington is one that will bring you back in time. It’s one of the most remote areas of the state. The trail is swarmed with ancient old growth along with several culturally modified trees from early Native American inhabitants. Being there was a very special experience.
The entire route is only 2 miles roundtrip, but be prepared for a constant incline summing up to 700 feet elevation gain. I didn’t count the switchbacks, but there were plenty. At the half mile mark you will catch your first peekaboo view of Sloan Peak. Just a taste of what is yet to come.
Finish the last round of switchbacks and you will come to a spur in the path. Go right and you have arrived. The old fire lookout that was built in the 1930s is no longer there, but in its place is a nice flat cliff side to sit and absorb the breathtaking views. This is one of the most intimate perspectives I’ve seen of Sloan Peak. Monte Cristo and the pride basin glaciers are very prominent as well. Not bad for a trail that doesn’t appear to be very popular.
From Darrington, Wa turn South onto the Mountain Loop Highway. Travel 17 miles before turning left onto Sloan Creek Rd (FR49). At 6.6 miles park at the North Fork Sauk Trailhead. Take this trail and watch for the Red Mountain Lookout Trail sign on your left about 100 yards in. Take this route.