Sky Camping at Heybrook Lookout Tower with Filson

July 7, 2017
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Filson partners with the National Forest Foundation to restore one of only two rentable fire lookout towers in Washington state. Find out how you can win a camping party in the tower.

Filson, the rugged outdoor outfitter, officially kicks-off restoration work on the Heybrook Lookout Tower, an important fixture in the history of Washington forestry as it is one of only two fire lookout towers in the state available for the public to reserve. The outfitter is partnering with the National Forest Foundation (NFF), the nonprofit partner of the United States Forest Service, as well as volunteer Filson employees, to do restoration work on the tower.

The tower was deemed unsafe for overnight stays in 2015, and was removed from the public rental system. There are only two lookout towers in Washington state that are available for rental, Heybrook being the only one that is available year-round through Recreation.gov. The location of the tower is within a short distance from Seattle which makes it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts to escape into the beautiful forests of the Central Cascades. “Lookout towers are iconic to the outdoor landscape in the Pacific Northwest,” said Melissa Ziegler, Marketing Director, “We are happy to partner with the NFF to restore the Heybrook tower and encourage more outdoor recreation in our backyard.”

The Heybrook Lookout Tower can be found by following the Heybrook Lookout Trail #1070 in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Maintained by the Washington Trails Association, the short and steep 1.3-mile hike takes visitors through the fern and moss covered second-generation forest, still recovering from a 1920’s clear cut operation. The tower was first erected in 1925, and rebuilt several times, with each lookout getting a little taller. By 1964 it had reached 73’ tall. After climbing the 89 steps to the viewing area, hikers get an almost 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, Mount Persis, Mount Baring, and Mount Index with its Bridal Veil Falls. Other local non-profit organizations, including the Everett Mountaineers and the Forest Fire Lookout Association, help to maintain this tower. Filson and the National Forest Foundation are proud to add to these efforts.

“Our national forests offer an incredible array of recreational opportunities,” said Dayle Wallien, NFF’s Director of Conservation Partnerships. “Filson’s investment in the Heybrook tower will once again make this fantastic destination available to the public. This partnership exemplifies how businesses and nonprofits can work together to improve recreation opportunities on our public lands.”

Historically, fire lookout towers have provided shelter for someone whose duty it is to watch for wildfire smoke, known as a fire lookout. Predating the United States Forest Service, fire lookout towers gained popularity in the early 1900s when fires were reported using telephones, carrier pigeons or heliographs.

The towers are always small buildings located at high vantage points and typically consist of one small room located atop a large steel or wooden tower. Today hundreds of towers around the country are still in service, operated by paid-staff or volunteers and many, like the Heybrook are available for rent.

Enter to Win

Filson is holding a contest to send a camping party on a two-night stay in the tower following the completion of its renovation. One lucky winner and up to three friends will receive roundtrip airfare to Seattle courtesy of Alaska Airlines. Filson gift cards will be given to the winner and each friend to spend at the Filson Flagship in Seattle to gear up for their trip. Car rental and hotel accommodations will be provided as well.

To enter to win, register on www.filson.com/lookout-contest. The contest is open until July 19, 2017 at 11:59 PM, and an official winner will be announced on or about July 21st.