Mount Leecher (or Leecher Mt) is home to a one-hundred-year-old tree top crow's nest! It’s also well known for its lookout staffer, “Lighting Bill” Austin, who spent 19 seasons at Goat Peak before moving to Leecher in 2014. Narrowly escaping the Carlton Complex Fire of 2014, this current structure was moved from Chiliwist Butte in 1954 and restored in 2009.
From the gate, it is a pleasant 1-mile walk without much elevation gain. “The walk to the summit is classic Okanogan, with big views, blue skies, ponderosa pine, douglas fir, and dry grass & shrub,” says Christine Estrada (“Where in the Wild is Chris?”). Though the lookout is locked when not staffed, you can climb up and soak up the sweeping views of the Methow Valley from just below the cab - or visit while “Lightning Bill” is on duty!
Directions: From Twisp, drive east on Highway 20 for 2 miles, then south on Highway 153 for 3.1 miles to a left turn onto Benson Creek Drive (Forest Road 4150). Follow the road 9.8 miles to a junction with French Creek Road. Turn right and keep right at the fork 0.6 miles later. Follow the road the remaining 3 miles to a small parking area at a locked gate, or 4.7 miles to the summit if the gate is open. The road is sandy and rough in places, so high clearance or 4×4 is strongly recommended!
Information & Photos Courtesy of Christine Estrada