Spend the Night in the Sky: 6 Fire Lookout Rentals in Oregon

One of the unique recreation experiences you can have in the Beaver State is the opportunity to rent some of our historic fire lookout rentals in Oregon. These towers can make the perfect weekend getaway with a 360-degree view of Oregon’s beauty. These lookouts are often located in remote, yet spectacular settings.

As fire lookout rentals have become increasingly popular, booking one can be a tedious task as they have definitely become high in demand. You may consider trying to reserve a lookout up to six months in advance, and maybe take a vacation day and try to grab one during the week. Also make sure to check in often on the spot you want, as a lot of times people will cancel their reservations at the last minute!

Make sure to go prepared with appropriate footwear, and plenty of water and food. You may even consider bringing some binoculars with you for bird watching and sightseeing. Here are some of the most popular fire lookout rentals in Oregon, which are available for public rental during prime summer and fall vacation season:

 

Fivemile Butte Fire Lookout

Fire lookout
Image courtesy of Cheryl / Flickr

Fivemile Butte Lookout offers stellar views of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and the summit of Mount Hood looming only 10 miles west. You can also see Mount St. Helens at times through the clouds to the north. The tower is 40 feet above ground, and is available to reserve all year. In the summer months, there are plenty of recreation opportunities available such as hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, and mountain biking in the area. 

Reservation Information

MANAGED BY: Mount Hood National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

 

Warner Mountain Fire Lookout

Warner Mountain Lookout

 

Depending on the snow level, Warner Mountain Lookout could be a 6-10 mile snowshoe or hike in. If you are coming here during snowfall, you may consider staying in the nearby town of Oakridge the night before to make sure you have plenty of time to hike in the next day.

oakridge
Image courtesy of Heather Dawn Hemmet / Facebook

This lookout tower offers not only incredible views, but includes everything you need from a cooking area complete with a propane stove, propane heat, and a sleeping area.

Reservation Information

MANAGED BY: Willamette National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

Lake of the Woods Fire Lookout

Lake of the Woods Fire Lookout South Western Oregon

Overview

Lake of the Woods Lookout is a 12 foot tower located in southwestern Oregon, offering spectacular views of mountainous terrain, forested hillsides and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Hiking in nearby old growth forests and mountain biking are among popular things to do around here. Many guests really enjoy stargazing at this lookout as well.

The lookout can accommodate up to four people, and is a one room cabin. One perk to this place also is the outdoor dining, which you will find a picnic table and a campfire ring. There is also said to be a pit toilet which is located outside as well. It’s worth mentioning this place does not provide water on side, and guests should prepare for a rustic camping experience here.

Reservation Information

MANAGED BY: Willamette National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

 

Gold Butte Lookout

Image courtesy of recreation.gov
Image courtesy of

From Gold Butte Lookout guests will enjoy panoramic views of the Cascade Range, including nearby Mount Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Moutn Hood, The Three Sisters and Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area. The area also includes canoeing and fishing nearby, in peaceful Elk Lake. This fire lookout tower offers an outhouse, will accommodate up to 4 people, and comes equipped with a wood stove for heat. Water, a cook stove and electricity are not provided. Guests must bring enough water for drinking, cooking and washing.

Reservation Information

MANAGED BY: Willamette National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

Green Ridge Fire Lookout

becoming a starry starry night

First and foremost, is this image of Green Ridge Lookout not incredible? Kevin Coughlin took this photo around 7 years ago, which he mentions in the comments was on 7 minute explosure, and the lookout was lit up by the campfire.

This 20-foot tall fire lookout tower offers incredible views of Mt. Jefferson and the Metolius River basin. Fishing and hiking are some of the most popular activities in the area. It’s also noted this is a very remote location and Forest Service personnel may not always be available for assistance, especially after hours and on weekends. This Oregon fire lookout rental offers a propane refrigerator, a propane wall heater, and a three-burner propane stove as well. Water is not provided here, and an additional light source is recommended. The lookout can accommodate up to 4 people, but has only one futon.

MANAGED BY: Willamette National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

 

Drake Peak Fire Lookout

Untitled

If you really want to get high, Drake Peak Lookout is the highest fire lookout rental in Oregon at 8,222 feet, and you will find this little place about 15 miles northeast of Lakeview. The drive-to lookout sits on a mountaintop and thus has no need for a tower, though Drake Peak is a mile away to the east. The forest rents two other lookouts.

We recommend guests bring several of their own supplies, as only some basic amenities are offered at this lookout. Although the lookout does not sit on Drake Peak, the nearby mountain is one of several high peaks in the immediate vicinity, including Twelvemile Peak, Light Peak and Crook Peak. Composed of uplifted and eroded basalt, and sparse vegetation, views from this mountain offer unobstructed views of unique geological landforms.

Wildlife viewing, stargazing, horseback riding, and hiking are a few of the popular activities enjoyed in this area. Water is not available here, and guests must supply their own. About 6 miles away guests can fill water jugs at Mud Creek Campground.  

MANAGED BY: Willamette National Forest
RESERVATION PHONE #: 877.444.6777

 

These are only a handful of fire lookouts available to rent in Oregon! If you would like to see more thorough descriptions of any of the lookouts we have shared, or would like to see more available, make sure and head over to firelookout.org. If you have stayed at any lookouts, we encourage you to share your stories and photos with us in the comments! Thanks for reading.

Claim Your Glass Drink
  • Alex Burns

    Great list! While not a fire lookout, Fremont Point cabin is also worth mentioning. If I remember correctly it is at the site of the now-destroyed fire tower. It has great views even without the elevation of a tower

  • I was just at Greenridge this past weekend! Absolutely incredible!

  • Name_not_Required

    Are firewatches still a thing? Like. . . do people actually still do this as a job?

    • La Vaughn

      Mr. No-Name: Yes. We have just attended the annual conference of the Western chapter of the FFLA (Forest Fire Lookout Association)
      There are still many working fire lookouts, although the numbers are diminishing. You might check out the FFLA website, or go to ronkemnow.weebly.com

      • Name_not_Required

        New life goal if I ever get my ass in shape, spend a summer doing that.