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part ofSix Rivers National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Tue Jun 30 2015   Season Dates


The Bear Basin Lookout and Cabin offer visitors awe-inspiring views of the surrounding terrain, as well as a quiet haven away from crowds. It was once used to spot forest fires, as it sits atop Bear Basin Butte. The lookout offers access to a variety of recreational activities, as well as views of both the mountains and the ocean afar.

The rental includes both the lookout tower and a modern 1930s-style Pierson cabin. Access is on a steep gravel road, so high-clearance vehicles are recommended. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The lookout and cabin sit high on narrow mountain ridge, at an elevation of about 5,300 feet. Excellent views of the Siskiyou Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west are why visitors love staying in the heart of the Six Rivers National Forest of northern California.

The adjacent Pierson Cabin was built in the 1990s, but it replicates the rustic cabin style commonly used in the 1930s.


Prime bird watching is available, as well as great hiking opportunities. Horseback riding trails may be accessed nearby, and wildlife viewers may catch a glimpse of deer or bears, which make their home in the area.


The lookout and cabin can accommodate up to eight guests, but up to 12 guests are permitted for an extra fee. The cabin has a kitchen, with very basic amenities, including a serving table. Three double beds are provided in the cabin and a futon in the lookout. The cabin also has a serving table.

Board games and various books may be available for use and a fire finder allows guests the experience of feeling like rangers of the old days, protecting the forest. A vault toilet, picnic tables and a campfire ring are outside.

No water or electricity is available. Guests should bring plenty of water, food, bedding, flashlights and other basic camp gear (click here for more cabin details).

Nearby Attractions:

The Smith River Visitor Center is about 21 miles, or 45 minutes by vehicle, from the lookout.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Campfire Rings
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Know Before You Go
  • Reservation dates are subject to weather conditions; there is a one-day minimum reservation window
  • Access to cabin is by key; contact (707) 457-3131 to arrange pickup at the Smith River Visitor Center
  • The rental accommodates eight guests; an additional fee of $5 is charged for additional guests, up to a maximum of 12 people
  • Access roads are steep and narrow; the last two miles to cabin are gravel
  • No pets are allowed in either building
  • No electricity or water is available at either facility
  • Site access is difficult; high clearance vehicles are recommended
  • No off-road vehicles are allowed at the cabin site; ride on designated trails only
  • Click here for more information on the Six Rivers National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.80917, -123.74
41°48'33"N, 123°44'24"W

From Crescent City, head north on Highway 101 and turn right (east) on Highway 199/Redwood Highway. Between mile marker 24 and 25, turn onto Little Jones Creek Road (also called Jawbone and Forest Service Route 16). Follow signs to Bear Basin Lookout, staying on Route 16. About 6 miles up, the lookout will be in view. At about 20.5 miles (10 on Jawbone), turn left onto Forest Service Road 16N02 and continue driving to the gate, following signs to the lookout, which is on Forest Service Road 17N71.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

GASQUET  CA  95543

Phone Number:

Information:  (707)457-3131 helps you discover and book trips to all of America's public places.
Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration