During the height of forest lookout construction era, there were more than a dozen lookouts on the slopes of Lookout Mountain. This structure, built in 1942, was constructed on the 4,627 foot summit of Fivemile Butte, and was distinguished by a trap door entrance that led directly into the cab.

This was the third generation lookout on Fivemile Butte, replacing a smaller structure constructed in the 1920s, and a similar design that was toppled by heavy snows in 1942. This image was taken in the mid-1050s.

The third Fivemile Butte toward blew down in 1957 (left), and was replaced by a fourth structure (below), a 30-foot flat-roof design that is still maintained today.

 Through the 1980s, the Fivemile Butte lookout was still manned during the summer. The lookout staff visited nearby Camp Baldwin regularly for a hot shower and to join the camp staff for an evening meal. In 1983, the a jittery lookout staffer left Camp Baldwin spellbound with his account of the previous night spent perched on a cot in the tower during particularly violent thunderstorm. He reported more than 30 direct strikes to the tower during the course of the late night storm.

The Fivemile Butte lookout is now part of the U.S. Forest Service recreational rental program, and is a popular destination for mountain bikers exploring the slopes of Lookout Mountain.

At 5,651 feeet, the summit of Flag Point would be a notable peak in its own right if it were not in the shadow of Lookout Mountain, towering another 1,000 feet higher to the west. Flag Point provides a commanding view of the Badger Creek valley and east over the Columbia Plateau.

In 1924, a 40-foot lookout pole-tower was constructed on the summit, later replaced in 1932 with the 30-foot tower shown here. This structure featured the same unusual trap door entrance as the nearby Fivemile Butte structure.

 In 1972, the current Flag Point tower was constructed, and continues to serve as a fire lookout during the summer season. The lookout is located at the end of a long, rough access road, but is well worth the trip, with trailheads to Lookout Mountain and Badger Creek located nearby, and spectacular views.

Flag Point Lookout photo is courtesy of Dominic Luebbers, and may not be used without permission

This 90-foot, vertigo-inducing lookout was constructed on the 5,385 foot summit of Grasshopper Point, south of Lookout Mountain, near Badger Lake. It was decommissioned in the late 1960s and has since been destroyed.

< Back to Page 1 of Lookout Mountain History
< Back to Lookout Mountain Main Page
The lookout images on this page are © U.S. Forest Service; other images are © Salem Public Library or otherwise in the public domain.