Kelly Butte LO (Nov 8, 2014)

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kelly_butte_lo_coverConditions: day trip
Gear: nothing special
Map:  USGS Lester
Area: Greenwater, WA
Stats: 3.42mi, 1085' gain (round trip)

I wanted to tag another lookout. I had a couple of ideas...Winchester...Red Mtn...Suntop...Kelly Butte... I ended up going with Kelly Butte because it was short, I'd never been there before, and I could swing by IKEA afterwards, and still get home to mow the lawn one more time this year.

Early start out of town. I was first in the pull off and I headed uphill about 9:30am. The trail follows the road at first (trailhead at 4316'), for about .7 mile to what looks like an old end of the road (much smaller parking area). Trail heads uphill on the right and heads steeply uphill as it works it way through the rocks and some cliffs.

At about 1.14mi (5059') the steepness eases and I found I was walking through tons of stalks of dried up beargrass. This place must have been crazy with the stuff earlier in the summer.

At exactly 1.7 mi (5401', 10:30am) I reached the old lookout, newly restored in 2011. The place was open. It looked like the door had been jimmied/busted open at some point. All the shutters are down and secured for the winter though. The inside was in really good condition. Nice and clean.

I had the place to myself for a while, about an hour. Awesome views...Glacier Peak to the Stuart Range in one direction...Mt Rainier in your face to the other...

Finally time to head down I packed up...still needed to run some errands, stop by the dreaded IKEA store, and then get home to mow the lawn for hopefully the last time in 2014.

More information on the lookout: This is a current lookout site. The original structure was a cupola cabin which was built 1926. It was replaced with the current L-4 cab in 1950. It was last staffed in the 1980's. Restoration of the current structure was completed in 2011.
Kelly Butte LO Slideshow


(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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