Lion Rock

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4/5 (2 reviews)
Ellensburg, Washington (Kittitas County)
Last Updated: 05/16/2020

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Lion Rock is a short trail, but holds an impressive view and campsite. Located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, 18 miles north of Ellensburg, this trail takes you to the peak of Lion Rock. There you’ll find an expansive view of the valley below, and if you’re able to snag a campsite, you may wake up to see the fog rolling out the following morning. If not, there is an improved campsite earlier on in the trail. This is a great trail for anyone looking for a light drive, a rewarding view, and a memorable campsite. Many trees in the area are burnt; the result of a forest fire from September of 2012. Caused by a lightning storm, it ultimately grew to over 42,000 acres, causing the nearby town of Liberty to evacuate. Lion Rock began as a camp and tree platform fire lookout in the 1920s. A 40-foot L-4 tower was built in 1932, and a garage-woodshed was added in 1938. A new lookout was then built in 1948, with the first tower being transferred to Sugarloaf Lookout in 1949. This trail is part of the Washington Cascade Overland Route. Visit Overlanding Across Washington for more information, including which trails to take next.
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