Category Archives: LOST FIRE LOOKOUTS Book

Lengthy Review of LOST FIRE LOOKOUT HIKES AND HISTORIES … on WWW.HIKING FOR HER.COM › lost-fire-lookout-hikes-and-histories-book-review.html

This review is about seven pages long. Here’s what the reviewer liked in the beginning of the book:

Here’s what I noticed within the first few pages of this book
Hikers love maps. It’s always gratifying to see a map with numbered hikes, first thing in a guidebook.
• It indicates the author is is paying attention to a reader’s desire to hone in on
specific hikes.
• It also provides an overview of the geographic locations highlighted in the book for
those who are unfamiliar with the area.

I noted 59 numbers on a map of western Washington State (Strait of Juan de Fuca south to the Columbia River and west of the I-5 corridor).
• These numbers corresponded to 59 hike descriptions.
• 59 hikes! That should make any hiker start salivating.

Romer shares “don’t miss” types of information in the preface, including which access passes are required.

This review was posted in February, 2022.

Prepublication Reviews

I really love the book. It’s a great one.
This book is a welcome addition to my collection of Washington hiking and climbing guides. All of the hikes in this outstanding book lead to remote summits that are off the beaten path yet incredibly accessible. The historical research and maps add background and context to the scenic points and how they were important to the region’s history.
–Mike Gauthier, author of Mount Rainier: A Climbing Guide

 Leslie Romer’s book brings the fire lookout era to life again, as well as offering wisdom and insight from one who not only has visited the sites but taken the time to observe, listen and learn what nature has to say about the past, the present and the future of the forest. There is a wealth of information, knowledge and thought to be found in these pages.
–Bryon Monohon, Forks Timber Museum Director

If you’re an admirer of Washington’s fire lookouts, seek off-the-beaten path hiking destinations, and have an appreciation for the state’s colorful logging, conservation, and war time history—you’ll want this guide on your bookshelf and in your pack.
Craig Romano, award winning guidebook author of more than 25 titles

I couldn’t stop reading! Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories: Olympic Peninsula and Willapa Hills is a must-have for anyone interested in fire lookouts, Washington State history and/or hiking. The book combines interesting historic facts with detailed driving directions and trail descriptions.
–Tammy McLeod, creator of Fire Lookouts of the West Coloring Book

Author Leslie Romer not only gives the necessary information needed to visit the “lost” lookouts of Washington’s Olympics and Willapa Hills, she has painstakingly researched and updated lookout histories. I am placing my copy of Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories: Olympic Peninsula and Willapa Hills on the shelf next to my well-worn copy of Kresek’s magnum opus, Fire Lookouts of the Pacific Northwest. That’s where it belongs.
–Keith Lundy Hoofnagle, Former Olympic Fire Lookout and National Park Service Ranger

When it comes to exploring the hills, doing the research and having knowledgeable contacts, Leslie leads the pack. This long-needed guide from her many site visits provides everything you need to have a wonderful fire lookout experience, even if the lookout building is long gone. The guidebook lays out the history, access and route in excellent detail, prompting the reader to want to go out and explore them.
–Eric Willhite, Peakbagger and Fire Lookout Blogger

Leslie Romer performs a major feat of archival research, as well as years of footwork, to come up with this wonderful new contribution to the Northwest’s great-outdoors bookshelf. She spells out exactly how to follow in her footsteps, and she fleshes out the experience with details of both the present plant life and the past—in words and in exhumed photos.
–Daniel Mathews, author of Cascadia Revealed: A Guide to the Plants, Animals and Geology of the Pacific Northwest Mountains

This is a magnificent book, written by an experienced hiker and environmentalist. She has specialized in hiking to old fire lookout sites and has now visited more than 500 sites, most of them in Washington State. The book contains extensive overview of 65 lookout sites in Washington´s coastal region, providing historic background as well as practical information and detailed route maps.
–Bragi Ragnarsson, Professional Hiking Guide, Reykjavik, Iceland

Part hiking guide and part history book, Leslie Romer’s Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories is a richly detailed account of the long forgotten fire lookouts that once dotted the Olympic Peninsula and Willapa Hills. Romer, a backcountry enthusiast, adeptly guides the reader to the lookouts on trails just waiting to be explored.
–John Dodge, author of A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm

It is delightful…  Leslie Romer makes a difference ⁓ inspiring a search for our history while exploring our beautiful world. May her readers follow her footsteps and find their own paths.
–Molly Erickson, US Forest Service, Retired (44 years)

DECEMBER 2021- JANUARY 2022 REVIEWS December 10, 2021 blog

“Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories: Olympic Peninsula and Willapa Hills” by Leslie Romer

Our state’s rainy western flanks might not be first place you’d look for fire lookouts, but local hiker and author Leslie Romer has documented over 60 current and former lookout sites between the mouth of the Columbia River and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Part history book and part guidebook, Romer combines years of ground-truthing with detailed, archival research to bring these oft-forgotten sites to life. “Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories” lays out all the background you need to start planning your summer adventures around the Olympic Peninsula and find some truly off-the-beaten path locales., December 15 post. Published as part of a five book review in the Aberdeen Daily World:  December 16 by Jon Larson, Polson Museum Director:

For the physically active history fan, the newest addition to the local written record is Leslie Romer’s “Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories: Olympic Peninsula and Willapa Hills.” Released only last week, this 330-page softback is packed with historical geography detailing 66 individual hikes to the fire lookouts that once dotted our region. The hikes themselves were chosen for being accessible to the public and range from a half mile to twenty one miles in length. While few of the lookouts remain, Romer has done exhaustive research to locate where they once stood and has created a lasting record of this once crucial network of early warning stations. With many dating to World War II and ranging from the Columbia River to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and everywhere in between (a majority here in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties), each hike is detailed for historical context as well as for geographical accessibility. The cartography is excellent and this book is highly illustrated with historic photos. $22.95 softback.

OUR COAST WEEKEND Arts and Entertainment Weekly, January 11, 2022. Astoria, OR

“Bookmonger: Hiking guides for nearby exploring”

For all of you who have dreams of getting out into nature more in 2022, here are two new books that will encourage you to do so!

“Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories” offers over 60 hikes to fire lookout sites throughout the Willapa Hills and the Olympic Peninsula. In researching these destinations, Olympia, Washington, author Leslie Romer proves to be not just a doughty hiker but also a veritable scholar. 

But before you get to the section of the book that details the hikes, please read the 11 pages of preface. These contain smart advice that Romer wants to convey to anyone following in her footsteps, things like: make sure you know who owns the land where you’ll be hiking, and get the proper permits ahead of time; know the etiquette you should practice when encountering wild animals; and, don’t skimp on the Ten Essentials.

Heeding this counsel will lead to a better experience once you actually hit the trails.

Following this introduction, Romer has prepared at-a-glance tables that summarize the hikes by distance, elevation gain, seasonal access and more.

Then you’ll get to the actual hike descriptions. Each entry methodically includes an overview, driving directions to the trailhead, a map and detailed directions for the hike.

Romer also combed through archival records and pored over old maps and written guides to provide mini-histories of each site and even information about some of the folks who once staffed and supplied these lookouts. These included a Disney illustrator, a famous female horse packer, and — during World War II — Aircraft Warning Service spotters.

“Lost Fire Lookout Hikes and Histories” provides destinations that are off the beaten path.

The Bookmonger is Barbara Lloyd McMichael, who writes this weekly column focusing on the books, authors and publishers of the Pacific Northwest.

Publication Info

Available from these sources:

  • REI – Olympia, Capital Mall, West Olympia, WA
  • Olympia Gear Exchange, 104 4th Avenue W., Olympia, WA
  • Courtyard Antiques, 4th Avenue E., Olympia, WA
  • Polson Museum – Hoquiam, WA
  • The Barn Nursery Gift Shop – 9510 Old Hwy 99, south of Olympia, WA
  • Browsers Books – Olympia, WA
  • Village Books and Paper Dreams, Bellingham, WA
  • Willapa Brewing Company, South Bend, WA
  • Barnes and