I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have lived here pretty much all my life except for a couple of years in China and a few months in western New York. This is my home. There's no other place that I'd rather live. In Cheryl's Northwest, I'll share some of my favorite places with you.
Raven Roost Lookout in
Central Washington offers stunning panoramic views of the state’s iconic
mountain, Mount Rainier.
Getting to Raven Roost in the
Wenatchee National Forest is a bit of a journey, but the views of the east side
of Mount Rainier make bumps and potholes well worth the effort.“Awesome” is how a recent first-time visitor
to Raven Roost described the view.
At more than 6,000 feet in
elevation, Raven Roost affords a view of Mount Rainier, sometimes hidden by
clouds, sometimes cloudless and snow-covered but always majestic.
Mount Rainier, at 14,410 feet
tall, is the most well-known of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Pictures of the
mountain abound on scenic calendars and other items promoting the state, though
many of those pictures are usually taken from Paradise on the west side of the
Miles of velvety-green
The only thing standing between Raven Roost
and Rainier are miles of forest-covered valleys. Deep green trees, interspersed
with small grassy meadows, and other mountains make up the landscape as far as
the eye can see.
Visitors share the perch with
a satellite tower, which is located at the rear of the perch.
Because of the altitude, it
can be windy and chilly at Raven Roost, even on the hottest of summer days, so
visitors should bring light jackets or sweaters to guard against the cold.
Getting to Raven Roost is a
Getting to Raven Roost is a
trip unto itself. Raven Roost is a detour off State Highway 410 which connects
the scenic Chinook Pass with Yakima. Turn on Forest Service Road No. 19; this
is three miles west of the popular Whistlin’ Jack Lodge at Cliffdell. Follow
the directional signs, making a left turn on Road No. 1902, which is a few
miles north of Highway 410.
Motorists will wind through
Crow Creek Campground, with the pavement ending a short distance from there. It
is 13 miles from the campground to Raven Roost. After the pavement ends, the
road is fairly decent gravel until you get to Sand Creek Campground seven miles
up the road.
Motorists should be on the
lookout for motorcycle riders in the Sand Creek area as several popular dirt
bike trails end there, including No Name, Sand Creek, Yellowjacket, Crow Creek
The road starts deteriorating
after Sand Creek and gets progressively worse the higher you go. From this
point on, don’t expect to drive faster than 15 miles per hour as the road
contains many potholes. If you’re traveling in the early morning or late
afternoon hours, be on the lookout for elk and deer on the road. At all times
you should be on the lookout for dirt bike riders who frequently forsake the
trails for the road, especially when it comes to the final ascent to Raven
It takes about an hour to
drive to Raven Roost from Highway 19; the return trip takes half as long
because it’s downhill all the way. The road is closed in winter due to heavy
snow. Sometimes it’s not possible to get all the way up to Raven Roost by
vehicle until July, though the road is usually open by mid-June.
Hiking into the William O.
Just before you begin the
final ascent to Raven Roost, Road 866 juts to the left for hikers who want to
reach the Pacific Crest Trail about three miles away. Motorized vehicles are not
allowed beyond the parking lot which has limited parking for vehicles and horse
trailers. The Forest Service requires a permit for hikers who want to go beyond