The cache lies within 100' of an old pole platform tower built in the early 1930's. The old lookout consists of a crude platform, about 20' above ground, built on two standing tree trunks and several poles. Most of the rungs of the access ladder are gone, as is some of the platform itself. The structure is unsafe and one should not attempt to climb it. The trees around the lookout would obscure any view from the top. Ned Hill never had a live-in attendant, the fire guard at Slab Camp would occasionally hike up during spells of hot dry weather to observe the area when fire danger was high.
The trail was originally built in the early 1930's in a no-nonsense fashion to service a makeshift fire lookout at the top of Ned's Hill after much of the area went up in smoke a few years earlier. Eventually the forest returned, the lookout became obsolete, and the trail was abandoned. In the 1990's, long-time Forest Service employee, Jim Halvorsm, reopened the trail.
Officially reopened in 1994, this is a steep hike up to the old fire lookout on Ned Hill. Don't be mislead by the distance. The trail climbs Ned Hill is a series of three steep sections. To assist in your climb, four benches have been installed along the trail, some with nice peeks of mountains to the west. Each bench appears after a significantly steep stretch, so you know that the trail has flattened out, at least for a little while. On the way down, the benches serve to warn of steep stretches ahead.
Early summer provides an unbroken tunnel of rhododendrons splashing the hillside in shades of purple and pink.