Firetowers, Lookouts & Rustic Cabins for Rent


Extremely remote getaways

The last wilderness romance: a funky old-fashion shelter with minimal comfort and maximum views. You can rent these remote cabins for about $25 per day, and sleep 4 or 5 people. The 145 described here are all located in the west. The best are difficult to reach. Most are approachable by 4-wheel drive. All need advance reservations. The little-known details and full getting-there instructions, are here.

-- KK 09/23/03


All of the firetowers, lookouts and cabins described in this book are rustic in every sense of the word. They are remotely located, and most lack the conveniences of civilization such as running water, electricity or telephones. The interiors look like they were from the 1950's and the furniture included is generally limited. They contain sparse, serviceable, shabby or rough-hewn furniture of the sort you might throw out, after the Salvation Army had rejected it. However, if you hike or ski in, you will appreciate just sitting down with a roof over your head. The beds are usually plywood, built with a plank on top, and occasionally lacking a mattress. (I recommend bringing an inflatable mattress if none are listed by the district as included with the rental.) Upon making your reservation, be sure to ask for a detailed list of what is available with the rental and what to bring.

Squaw Peak Lookout
As long as you have four-wheel drive and patience, you can enjoy this scenic cabin in the summer. There is initially a horrendous road of 2.5 miles of ditches and holes, and then an additional 2.5 mile hike into the Lookout, or you can park your vehicle and hike the five miles Squaw Peak is a one room painted white cabin with a stone base located on a bare peak in the Cabinet Mountains. There is a stone outbuilding next door in the process of being rehabbed. The cabin does have available a propane refrigerator and stove and if you send for informaiton, included are instructions in the operation of both items. There is also a wood stove, and wood is kept in the basement.

Category: Very rustic lookout
Elevation: 6,167;
Road condition: Trail access three miles from Highway 200
Availability: All year except July and August; exact dates depend on fire season
Daily use fee: $25 for up to five people

For further information, contact:
Kootenai National Forest
Cabinet Ranger District
HCR2, Box 210
2693 Highway 200
Trout Creek, MT 59874
(406) 847-2462

Berry Creek Guard Station, built in 1934, sits with gorgeous scenic views in the Shell Creek Mountains. The view includes aspen, many tall trees, and lots of mountains. Deer, elk, and sometimes bobcat and coyote may be seen or heard from the cabin boundary. The old cabin has a living room, one bedroom, and propane cook stove and refrigerator, and a propane wall heater. There is indoor plumbing during the warm season, including a shower and toilet.

Lightening Stool at Pickette Butte Lookout

Acker Rock Lookout