North Cascades | Chelan Mountains
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Summit Elevation: 2,586′
Lookout Type: 10′ L-4 cab
Site Established: 1925
Current Structure Built: 1947
Date Visited: 10/8/17
Steliko is one of three lookouts remaining in the Entiat Ranger District and after a lot of work by volunteers in 2019, is now reservable for overnight stays! For information call the Entiat Ranger Station at 509-784-4700.
Photos from a 2017 visit.
Between the 1930s and 1960s, the Entiat Ranger District staffed 13 fire lookouts and today only 3 remain: Sugarloaf, Tyee, and Steliko.
Steliko was established as a lookout camp as early as 1925. The current structure was built in 1947 and is still actively used during periods of high fire danger. In 2010, someone unfortunately vandalized the lookout, making off with three solar panels and a generator totaling nearly $7,000.
Volunteers spent most of 2019 renovating the lookout for overnight stays and it’s now reservable through the Entiat Ranger Station. Call them for more information.
Steliko is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
It is possible to drive all the way to the lookout in summer and fall, but there is deep sand on the road so a high-clearance 4×4 is recommended. In winter, the lookout requires a 1.6 mile walk, ski, snowmobile, or snowshoe outing from the Steliko Work Center below.
You can also choose to hike up the West Ridge from the Forest Service sheds at the bottom of the road. There are no established trails, but you can follow game and stock trails to the summit.
From the summit, see if you can find Sugarloaf and Tyee lookouts in the distance.
My funny Steliko story.
I will never forget Steliko because the day I visited was very warm and the windows in my old Jeep Cherokee were fully rolled down. My dog was sitting in the backseat and as we made our way up the road it quickly turned into deep sand. Not wanting to get bogged down, I threw my Jeep into 4 wheel drive and floored it through the sand.
The only downside to manual windows? Obviously you can’t suddenly roll them up!
When I finally stopped at the top, the entire interior of my Jeep and myself were coated in at least an inch of dust. I turned around to look at my black dog and he was sitting there, completely ashen, with dust all over his eyelashes and whiskers. I nearly bust a gut laughing and only wish I had snapped a photo of him before he shook it off. Every once in a while I still find Steliko sand in my stuff!
From Entiat, turn onto the Entiat River Road and continue 10 miles to the small town of Ardenvoir. About a quarter mile past town, take a right onto Forest Road 5310, located near large Forest Service sheds. If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, park here and climb 1,226′ over 1.3 miles up the West Ridge to the lookout on top.
If you do have a high clearance 4×4, the road should be driveable most of the way to the top depending on conditions. Stay to the right at the first fork and then left at the second. When I visited in October 2017 the road had areas of very deep sand and conditions can change rapidly depending on weather, so use good judgment. I parked a short ways below the summit and hiked up.