I’ve always wanted to spend a night in a fire lookout. Thanks to a friend, I finally have.
A friend of mine volunteers at Suntop Lookout, which is a mile high and 10 miles north of Mount Rainier.
The views are, naturally, superb. We spent an extremely enjoyable day and night soaking in the views, watching for fires (none) and chatting with people who came to visit the lookout.
Suntop is extremely accessible. You can drive nearly to its front door. Even so, throughout the day, we saw fewer than a dozen people, although that may be because it was a weekday.
The lookout was constructed in 1933. It sits on a high knoll with in-your-face views of Mount Rainier. On extremely clear days, you can see Mount Baker.
The views took my breath away all day. Sunset and sunrise were especially entrancing. I loved watching the light change, shifting the scenery. Once it was truly dark, the stars were amazing.
I took a number of photos while I was there. Take a look for a small taste of the scenery.
Of, if you’d like to go yourself, Hiking With My Brother has great directions at the bottom of this post, along with some good history of the site and wintery photos, to give you a different view of the lookout.