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3 Amazing North Central Idaho Fire Lookouts You Can Rent for the Night

November 8, 2022

If you're looking for a unique overnight stay, consider staying 50 feet or more up in the air! These unique fire lookouts offer a unique stay, access to tons of recreational opportunities....and oh, the views!!

Lookout Butte Lookout – near Selway Falls 

Lookout Butte

Lookout Butte has a history that spans nearly 80 years and has been home to three lookout towers. The first, built in 1923, was 45 feet tall with just a platform on which to stand. A cabin was put on the tower a couple years later. In 1935, a 50-foot tower was constructed. A new tower was built beside the old one in 1962, and this is currently available for rent. The current 60-foot wooden tower offers panoramic views and the perfect setting for enjoying the area's tranquility and natural beauty. Guests can enjoy the scenery from the exterior catwalk or from inside the single-room cabin.

Bald Mountain Lookout – near Pierce

Bald Mountain Lookout

Bald Mountain Lookout offers the opportunity to enjoy unforgettable views and participate in a variety of recreational opportunities. It was built in 1956 and was used as a fire lookout until 1984. Guests can drive to the lookout in vehicles with good ground clearance, but trailers are not recommended due to some rough spots on the road. The lookout is typically open from early July through early October. The accommodations are mostly primitive, but some conveniences are provided. Guests will need to bring some of their own supplies and gear for a comfortable experience.

Castle Butte Lookout – near Kooskia

Castle Butte Lookout

Castle Butte Lookout is a unique cabin perched on a rocky point, 6,659 feet above sea level. It offers breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Seven Devils Mountains, the Great Burn area and the deep canyons of the North Fork Clearwater River's upper drainages. A cabin was first constructed on this site in 1916 and was replaced in 1928 with a log cabin featuring a cupola. The current lookout was built in 1950. Access to the lookout is via the Lolo Motorway, a primitive, single-lane road constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. It is not recommended for large RVs, vehicles with low ground clearance or trailers. Guests should be prepared to walk about 100 feet up steep, rocky terrain to reach the lookout. Castle Butte Lookout is equipped with a few creature comforts, but guests will need to bring some gear and supplies to help make their stay enjoyable. The panoramic view guarantees a memorable stay.

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