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part ofIdaho Panhandle National Forests, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Fri Jun 05 2015   Season Dates


Deer Ridge Lookout, perched on a 40 foot timber frame, boasts excellent views of the Purcell mountain ranges of Northern Idaho, Canada and Montana. Located 24 miles northeast of Bonners Ferry, guests can enjoy magnificent scenery, hiking and wildlife watching.

The lookout can be accessed by car and the gravel road to the lookout is well maintained.

Natural Features:

The Lower Kootenai River Area (Bonners Ferry District) is bordered by the Purcell and Cabinet Ranges and the Montana Line on the east, the rugged Selkirk Range on the west, and the Canadian border to the north.

The Kootenai River meanders north and west through the District, and the Moyie River joins it from the north. Peaks are moderate in elevation (6000 - 7000 ft.) but are rugged due to heavy glaciation. They are renowned for their mountaineering challenge.

The lookout is perched atop Deer Ridge at an elevation of 4,755 feet. The view from the facility includes the rugged Purcell mountain peaks and the beautiful Moyie River Valley and Moyie Springs.

Elk, deer and black bears are among the wildlife in the area. Please be aware of and practice bear safety.


Hiking and viewing the scenery are two well-loved activities at the facility. Hiking trails from the lookout follow along the Deer Ridge and Ruby Ridge. Huckleberry picking is enjoyed from August to September.

Fly fishing is available in the Moyie River, where anglers can cast for rainbow and brook trout. Make sure to check all regulations and secure all permits with the local Fish and Wildlife department before heading out.


The 14' X 14' cabin has a wraparound catwalk, with a trap door that lifts for access to the tower's entrance staircase. The staircase is steep and is not recommended for small children. Furnishings include two twin beds, two chairs, a dresser and a table. A pit toilet is located 50 yards away.

No water is available. Guests should bring plenty of water for drinking, cooking and washing. Cooking is not permitted in the lookout. All cooking should be done outside and at ground level. Guests should bring a tarp to block the rain. Other items to bring include bedding, a first aid kit, towels and flashlights.

Nearby Attractions:

The nearest town for groceries is Bonners Ferry, about 24 miles from the lookout.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bed(s) With Mattress
  • Berry Picking
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Hiking
  • Parking Area
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
Know Before You Go
  • Entry is by combination lock; contact the ranger district at (208) 267-5561 for combination 10-14 days prior to arrival
  • Children are discouraged from staying at this facility due to the height of the lookout
  • No candles, open flames, or smoking inside
  • Please bring garbage bags; this is a "pack it in-pack it out" facility
  • Bring bedding, cooking supplies, flashlights, etc.
  • Use extreme caution when climbing stairs
  • Upon arrival, read lightning safety instructions located in cabin
  • Click here for more information on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
48.84528, -116.10194
48°50'43"N, 116°6'7"W

Take Highway 95/2 north from the Bonners Ferry Ranger Station for 5 miles. Turn right onto Highway 2 and head east for 2 miles. Turn left onto Meadow Creek Road and head north and east for 10 miles to the bridge over the Moyie River. Turn right onto Road 2541 (Placer Creek Road) and go east 1.5 miles. Next, drive north on Road 2540 for 6 miles until the road ends at Deer Ridge Lookout.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Information:  (208)267-5561
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