Winchester Mountain Trail #685


This relatively short but steep trail leads to a lookout shelter with panoramic views within Mt. Baker Wilderness. Steep snow slopes in early summer followed by a profusion of berries along the trail make this trail better suited for fall hiking. Encounter the High Pass Trail #676 junction a half mile from the trailhead. Stay left to continue to the Winchester Lookout. Follow switchbacks upward through heather, flowers, berries and occasional small trees until reaching the summit at 6,521 feet. The lookout building, built in 1935, is no longer used by the Forest Service for fire detection. A volunteer group now maintains the lookout and it is open to the public on a first-come first-serve basis. Carry drinking water, as there is none available at the lookout.

Steep, exposed snow fields can linger into August. Hikers need an ice axe and experience traveling on snow to reach the lookout before the snow melts.

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer - Fall
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Fall
Restrictions: Open to hikers only. No campfires. Wilderness regulations apply, including a maximum party size of 12.
Closest Towns: Glacier, Washington
Water: No potable water.
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead. Visitors need to be prepared to pack out human waste.
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass required at Twin Lakes Trailhead.
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Mt. Baker Ranger District office or Glacier Public Service Center

General Information


From Glacier, Washington travel east on Mt. Baker Highway SR 542. Twelve miles from the Glacier Public Service Center, turn left on Twin Lakes Road (Forest Service road 3065). The road is located at the east end of the Department of Transportation's Shuksan maintenance facility. After 4.5 miles, reach the Tomyhoi Lake/Yellow Aster Butte Trailhead. The road beyond this point is narrow, with few pullouts, and is not maintained for passenger vehicles. During summer there may be mining truck traffic traveling on the road.

High clearance vehicles can negotiate the remaining two miles to Twin Lakes. Four-wheel drive is not necessary, but helpful. Check with the ranger station for road conditions before heading out. Twin Lakes Trailhead is located 6.5 miles from the highway between the two lakes.

General Notes:

Black bears frequent the area. Food and scented items need to be stored in a secure manner.

• Green Trails: Mt. Shusksan #14
• USGS: Mount Larrabee
• USFS: Mt. Baker Ranger District and Mt. Baker Wilderness


Parking for 30+ vehicles.

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  Area/Length : 
2.1 miles one way.

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5,200 feet at trailhead.