The King County Council on Tuesday approved legislation to fund the reconstruction of a historic fire lookout on Mt. Peak.
The King County Council on Tuesday approved legislation to fund the reconstruction of a historic fire lookout on Mt. Peak. Sponsored by Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, the legislation authorizes a 10-year community grant partnership between King County Parks and the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association. The agreement awards a $250,000 grant to the association, which would rebuild, operate, and maintain the historic fire lookout on top of Mt. Peak, located just south of Enumclaw.
“There has been tremendous energy from the community to restore this cherished landmark and provide a destination that outdoor enthusiasts from across the region can enjoy,” Dunn said. “I’m pleased to help get this project off the ground!”
In 2017, in response to a grassroots effort, Dunn worked to dedicate $10,000 from the King County budget to fund the project’s design and begin the permitting process. Since then, the Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association has raised nearly $370,000 toward construction of the lookout.
"The Mt. Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association is excited to reach this important milestone,” said Doug Borst, President of the association. “We are grateful to Councilmember Dunn and the rest of the King County Council for recognizing the importance of this unique community project and supporting us in our efforts"
Until 1966, visitors could visit the tower and staff through the summer and have a 360-degree view of the Enumclaw plateau, Mt. Rainier, and surrounding area. When improved forest fire monitoring technology eliminated the need for a full-time observer, Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources took down the tower citing safety concerns. In 2000, the Pinnacle Peak property was transferred from the Department of National Resources to King County Parks.
Today, the Pinnacle Peak Trail has become of the most popular trails in South King County and all that’s left of the lookout at the top of the trail are the four piers that supported the tower. On a busy weekend day the trail will see approximately 300-400 visitors. It’s a popular hike for locals and those in training to climb Mt. Rainier.