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gem icon Mt. Washburn Fire Tower

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Overview

The greater Yellowstone ecosystem is no stranger to wildfire. Although it's easy to linger on the destructive nature of wildfire, the process can be regenerative as well, clearing understory growth, and providing fertilization for new plants. Fires tend to be the result of both natural and human activity. Annually, 25 fires are sparked by lightening and an additional 6-10 are ignited by visitors. Because of this, the National Park Service takes fire safety and monitoring very seriously. The Mt. Washburn Firetower is manned by a firefighter from mid-June through the fall. Necessities such as cell phones, radios, and high-quality optical equipment assist the firefighter in their duties.

Visitors will enjoy either the long run to the summit or the scenic drive, as the mountain is accessible by vehicle. While not the highest point in the park, the summit of Mt. Washburn may be the most scenic. Centrally located, the peak offers expansive views of the whole park. Due to the high elevation (10,243 ft) the peak can be much cooler than the surrounding areas, so make sure that you're prepared for the weather at the summit. Along you way, keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and mountain goats who make a home out of the craggy summits of the Washburn Range.

Once you've reached the summit, take a few moments to enjoy the views, and stop in at the visitor center, where displays teach about the surrounding topography and point out some of the most recognizable features.

Half-Day Run: Begin the route from the Dunraven Pass Trailhead if you're planning on running, or head up the Chittenden Road if you're planning to drive.

Family Friendly: While the full hike would be strenuous for youngsters, driving up Chittenden Road makes the firetower accessible to those who might want to be firefighters when they grow up.

Gem Type: Historic Site

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on May 12, 2016. All Page Views: 587. Last Month: 27.