Built in 1964, Sekiu had a 40 foot wooden DNR live-in tower that lasted until removed/destroyed in 1988. Mike Drovdahl spent a summer working in the lookout in 1975. He said the view was of the Straits and Vancouver Island to the North, Lakes Ozette and Dickey to the south, the Pacific to the west the Olympics to the east. He would watch the fog roll off the ocean and envelop everything but the tower. At night the views were above the clouds with Mount Olympus reflecting the moonlight. Mornings were similar with the west end valleys socked in. Once a lightning and thunderstorm traveled down the center of the Straits one night, not close at all, but he spent most of my time watching it standing on the glass insulated little stool. The prior lookout Ted Bradshaw told him of a night when the tower got hit and he shared a half second with a lightning bolt as it hit the fry pan on the stove and the corner where the grounding rod was in the wall. Once on a late afternoon, he saw dozens of crows hop by. It seemed an hour passed while one or two at a time moved tree to tree past the tower. Another time the bug hatch filled the windows with flying insects by the thousands. Only one visitor came that summer, a local on a dirt bike.
From the Port Angeles Evening News on August 26, 1965: "From her forest fire lookout tower atop 1,960 foot Sekiu Mountain, Mrs. Della Turner of Forks keeps a watchful eye on more than 700 square miles of valuable private and state-owned timber land. The new 40-foot Sekiu Mountain tower was put into operation by the Department of Natural Resources June 15, Mrs. Turner, wife of DNR fire warden Corbett (Pete) Turner, was the first to live in the new cabin-on-stilts. The Sekiu Mountain Lookout provides fire detection on lands owned by the state of Washington, Crown Zellerbach and Rayonier Incorporated and other scattered ownerships, Rayonier and West Coast Plywood logged the lookout site and built the logging road which provides access to the tower. The Sekiu lookout is one of 86 such towers operated by the Department of Natural Resources throughout the state."
Elevation: 1,943 feet
Distance: 2.6 miles
Elevation gain: 1,600 feet
Access: Good gravel roads
From Highway 112 just west of Clallam Bay, turn left on the Hoko-Ozette road. Follow several miles to the bridge over the Hoko River. Around a half mile further, a gravel road on the right leads to a gate (see map).
This route is on Olympic Tree Farm land which is gated but open to recreational use. Follow map provided. A good road will lead all the way to the summit. It was too steep most of the way to bike up but the downhill bike decent is quick.
Sekiu Mountain Lookout Site
Forks Timber Museum
Although the Forks Timber Museum lookout came from near Bellingham in 1985, the interior furnishing and equipment in the tower is from the Sekiu Lookout. The original plan for the Forks Timber Museum was to put the Sekiu Mountain lookout in the museum. It was blasted down by dynamite in such a manner as to save the lookout cab. The building was dismantled in large pieces and put in a pile while the tower portion of the lookout (wooden tower) and other unusable pieces of the lookout were put in another pile to be burned. The crew that went to do the burning lit the wrong pile so the Sekiu lookout was destroyed. (Note: The Mt. Octopus lookout has a similar story, not sure which is correct).
Olympic Tree Farm gate
Sekiu summit and lookout site
Eyebolt in woods below lookout site
Some wood below the lookout site
Some views in route up
Some views in route up