On August 12, 1858 Thomas Blakiston was the first person to ascend Moose Mountain. From then, Moose Mountain has become a popular hike for many. This is highly attributed to not only the fantastic views of the area but to the rather simple and easy hike up to the summit. It is a maintained trail and it is not uncommon to come across a dozen or so people at the summit on the weekends during the summer.
The mountain peak received its name in 1949 because of its uncanny resemblance of a moose resting on the horizon. At the summit of the hike is a Forestry Service Lookout. The first one was built in 1929 and currently it is the third building to rest on the site. When you hike up in the summer, you can usually see the fire ranger in the building and sometimes they come out to chit chat for a bit. We were lucky and got to take pictures with the fire ranger's adorable dog!
The fire rangers are responsible for over 5000 square km of forest so it is requested that when you are at the summit, respect the privacy of the fire rangers.
A fun fact regarding the mountain is that it was used in several shots in filming the movie Brokeback Mountain.
Moose Mountain Fire Lookout Trip Log
The trail starts just a few meteres before the parking are as you drive in on the right hand side. It is a relativly wide gravel path.
Shortly after you start the view opens up to your left and you can see what awaits. The long Moose Mountain takes up a lot of the view and you can see the first summit you have to reach before reaching the firelookout on the second.
The trail is like a small roller coaster, it first brings you way down (which you have to walk back up) and shortly after it starts climbing again.
Once you have made it to the top of the first hill it continues going up and down as you head along. The view of the valley is nice from this point as you get a nice unobstructed view through the trees.
Once you get to the base of the first summit its all uphill to the top. There are switch backs along the whole mountain side that help you along.
At the top of the first summit you get your first real good view of the Moose Mountain Fire Lookout. The rocky cliffs make it look like a small fortress. Some are satisfied here as the view is still outstanding and the first summit more then big enough to hold a small town so the chance that you will be squished on the summit on a busy day is next to none.
The path narrows a lot and circles around the left side the mountain. It more than wide enough for one person to comfortably walk. If you have a very big fear of heights this is the only part you might find challenging as you do have a steep slope on your left.
As you get to the last few meters from the summit, you are greeted by a very solid picnic table. Even on a smoky day as this, the view from the table was phenomenal.
Once you reach the heli-pad you have made it to the summit. Since the fire look out sits on the true highest point of the you never 'truly' summit in a sense. The view from all sides is spectacular since the surrounding area is so beautiful. The heli-pad also makes a great spot to sit down and have a snack as you can dangle your feet off the edge of it.
Return the same way. This is just a picture looking back the way you head up showing the angle of the drop a little. The path is very stable and wide enough that it should not pose a problem unless you got it pretty bad for heights.
GPS Plotted Route
As you can see you gain and lose pretty frequently along the route. The first big drop on the graph is the first large hill you head down and the last dip near the top is the transition from the first summit to the fire lookout.
Click here to download the GPS route in GPX format. You may have to right click and select "Save Link As" if your browser does not download it automatically. Be sure to save it as a .gpx file.
What were your experiences hiking Moose Mountain Fire Lookout?
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