Sun Top Lookout - Visit Rainier

Sun Top Lookout

On a clear day, the views are simply stunning.

Perched on a 5,271 foot peak, Sun Top Lookout is one of the last structures of its kind remaining in the Snoqualmie National Forest. It’s a gravel drive or hike to the summit, which offers commanding 360-degree views. Dominating the scene, Mt. Rainier is just ten miles away to the south. See majestic vistas of Winthrop Glacier, the Cascade Range, the Olympic Mountains, and even Mt. Baker, over 150 miles away. During the winter months, the ungroomed Sun Top Sno-Park is the entry point for those on skis, snowshoes, horseback, motorbike, or mountain bike.

The trail starts off with a brief shady treelined portion and then opens up to exposed terrain. The trail is narrow set of switchbacks and steady incline as you climb 1,100 feet up to the lookout tower. There is no water source along the trail. 

Area Lodging

Nearest lodging to Sun Top Lookout is found in the Greenwater and Crystal Mountain Area. A selection of cabins, vacation rentals, resorts, and inns can be found approximately 12 to 15 miles from the trailhead. Click here for local lodging.

More information

Directions:  Heading east, turn right off SR 410 on Forest Road (FR) 73. Travel FR 73 for 1.2 miles and turn left on FR 7315. Travel FR 7315 for 6.1 miles to the lookout. The road is gravel surfaced and is best suited for four-wheel-drive vehicles.


Q: Are dogs allowed on the trail to the Sun Top Lookout? 

A: Yes. Please keep your dog on a leash, clean up and properly dispose of any waste.

Boxers and Beargrass
Dax the Boxer with Beargrass at Sun Top Lookout. Image credit Laura Steward.

Q: What pass do I need to hike to the Sun Top Lookout? 

A: The Northwest Forest Pass

Q: Is there a bathroom at the trailhead?

A: Not at the trailhead, there is a vault toilet near the picnic area up by the lookout tower. 

Q: Is Sun Top Lookout wheelchair accessible? 

A: The picnic area and path leading up to the lookout tower are wheelchair accessible. The path is compromised of hard packed gravel with a surface area wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. There are steps leading up to the lookout tower. The tower itself is not accessible. There is about a 2-inch ledge to navigate at the door of the vault toilet.