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Community celebrates replica lookout tower completion, offering stunning views atop King County’s Pinnacle Peak Park

Summary

Work has wrapped up on building and installing a replica lookout tower crowning Pinnacle Peak Park in Enumclaw, a project that was constructed through King County Parks’ Community Partnerships and Grants Program with the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association. The tower is expected to be open to the public by late October.

Story

After several months of construction thatpinn_peak_lookout_dedication required multiple days of technical helicopter operations to lift materials to the top of Mount Peak in southeast King County, a replica fire lookout tower is in place and will soon be open. 

The new landmark will give visitors to the summit of King County’s Pinnacle Peak Park in Enumclaw an optional 22-foot climb to the viewing deck that offers stunning views of the surrounding region.

The 33-foot-tall lookout tower is a replica of the structure that once stood on the same spot until it was decommissioned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources in 1966. Advances in fire surveillance technology made obsolete the use of fire towers staffed by trained observers.

“We are excited to honor the region’s recent history through the addition of this unique amenity to such a beloved park,” said Warren Jimenez, King County Parks Division Director. “We are grateful for the volunteers of the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association, whose vision, resourcefulness, and dedication made this project a success.”

Representatives from the project team marked completion of lookout tower construction with a ribbon cutting Oct. 16, followed by a community celebration in downtown Enumclaw. King County Parks anticipates opening the tower to the public in late October, once the finishing touches are finalized and Parks can ensure the tower is safe for public use. 

“As outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking in this region, we wanted to give back to our community by adding something special to this park,” said Doug Borst, a member of the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association. “After such a big climb up Mount Peak, it will be a huge reward to go those extra 45 steps up the tower and experience territorial views of the Cascade foothills and surrounding Enumclaw Plateau.” 

This project is thanks to the vision of the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association, which Enumclaw community members formed in 2016. With the support of King County Parks, the group harnessed community resources for the design, fundraising, and construction of the tower.

King County Parks provided $295,000 in seed funding through its Community Partnerships and Grants (CPG) Program, which was matched with $1,305,000 in grants, in-kind services, and donations raised by the association. As part of their agreement with King County Parks, the group will be responsible for maintaining the tower for 10 years.

For 20 years, King County Parks’ CPG Program has empowered community partners, such as sports associations, recreation clubs, and other non-profit organizations, to construct, develop, program, and/or maintain new or enhanced public recreation facilities on King County-owned lands. Current funding for the CPG Program comes from the voter-approved 2020-2025 King County Parks, Recreation, Trails, and Open Space Levy.

A popular destination for Enumclaw residents, the 335-acre Pinnacle Peak Park features 4 miles of steep forested trails and unique columnar basalt formations.

RELEVANT LINKS
Mount Peak Fire Lookout Tower Facebook page
Coming (very) soon: Lookout tower at Pinnacle Peak Park 
King County Community Partnerships and Grants 

QUOTES

We are excited to honor the recent history of the region through the addition of this unique amenity to such a beloved park. We are grateful for the volunteers of the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association, whose vision, resourcefulness, and dedication made this project a success.

Warren Jimenez, Division Director, King County Parks

As outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking in this region, we wanted to give back to our community by adding something special to this park. After such a big climb up Mount Peak, it will be a huge reward to go those extra 45 steps up the tower and experience territorial views of the Cascade foothills and surrounding Enumclaw Plateau.

Doug Borst, Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association member

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Doug Williams, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543

About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers 205 parks and 32,000 acres of open space, including popular destinations such as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, plus 175 miles of regional trails, 250 miles of backcountry trails, and a world-class aquatic center. We envision parks, trails, and natural lands for all, sustained with the cooperative efforts of our community.

About the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association 
The Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association is an all-volunteer, community-based organization that formed in 2016 with the goal of enhancing the visitor experience at Pinnacle Peak Park and paying homage to the area’s history through the construction and maintenance of the tower.