Lakit Lookout is a popular hike. The lookout is located on a wide and spacious alpine ridge, which offers a comfortable place to rest and enjoy the view. The trail is well-maintained but steep, so expect a short but vigorous hike. It takes about 45 minutes to 1.5 hour to reach the Lakit Lookout building.
The trail to the lookout is on a dry southern exposure. Pine trees dot the open slopes of sparse rocky soil. The plant communities are complex even at this high elevation, and the mountainsides are often covered by a diversity of wildflowers and grasses during the short summer growing season. Snow cornices on the ridgetop endure until almost the end of July.
The lookout offers the best view of its surroundings, but the real summit of Lakit Mountain is almost 2 km north along the ridge. The Lakit Mountain labelled on the topographical maps is just downhill from the ridge, but the main ridge bends east and a higher summit is what the locals call Lakit Mountain, N09400-E01300, at 2540 m (8,260 ft.).
Lakit Lookout Shelter
The Lakit Lookout building is open to the public and may be used as an overnight shelter. Reservations are not required. For two decades, hikers and skiers have watched many starry skies, full moons and lightning storms from this viewpoint on the top of the southern Rocky Mountains. A tiny wood stove keeps the uninsulated plywood cabin a little warmer than the outside. Firewood is carried up to the cabin on the backs of hardworking volunteers. Please don’t light the stove during summer.
The Lakit Lookout building is a replica, built by the BC Forest Service, of the old fire watchtower that stood on the same site until 1967. It used to be called Wild Horse Lookout. The structure was not the patrol residence, so the watchman would climb the trail every day during fire season. Fire spotting today is done by electronic lightning detectors and helicopter flyovers after lightning storms.
You may want to continue your day hike 2 km north along the ridge to the summit of Lakit Mountain. Broken-boulder-hopping and a bit of rock scrambling are required at the first dip along the ridge. This broken section of ridge is an obstacle for some, but the rest of the hike to the summit is a pleasant alpine tour.
Return to your vehicle by the same route, or you can descend down the eastern basin back to the road. Backtrack off the summit until the route down appears safe to descend. Start carefully by skidding down the loose rock and scree. In the basin, hike east and back to the road. Turn right and hike downhill on the road to the vehicles.