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part ofFlathead National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Fri Jun 12 2015   Season Dates


Hornet Lookout provides guests with astounding 360-degree views of the surrounding terrain, including Glacier National Park and Kintla Lake on clear days. On some nights, the Northern Lights may be seen from the lookout. Visitors also enjoy access to a variety of recreational activities.

Access to the lookout requires a one-mile hike from the trailhead at the parking area. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The scenic lookout is perched atop Hornet Peak, at an elevation of 6,744 feet. Nearby peaks include Wedge Mountain and Akinkoka Peak. The rustic lookout was built in 1922 and, in its prime, played an integral role for detecting forest fires in the North Fork area. A 2003 wildfire charred the surrounding area, but wildflowers and bear grass are making a comeback.

Glacier View Ranger District is bordered on the east by the North Fork of the Flathead River and Glacier National Park. To the north is Canada and west is the Montana's Kootenai National Forest.


Hiking and mountain biking on the gravel roads and trails are among the activities available in the area. Viewing wildlife is another rewarding pastime.


The two-story lookout sits at ground level. The ground level provides a living space for two guests and the second story is a small loft used solely for full views of the region. The lookout's rustic accommodations include a propane cook stove, propane lantern, two cots, a small wood stove for heat. A pit toilet is provided outside the lookout. Pets are allowed, but cleaning up after them is required.

No water is available. Guests should pack their own bedding, water, first aid kit and food, among other necessities. Dead and downed firewood can be gathered in the area. Click here for more cabin details.

Nearby Attractions:

Glacier National Park and the Wild and Scenic North Fork of the Flathead River are nearby.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Berry Picking
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Cot(s)
  • Firewood
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Lantern Posts
  • Parking Area
  • Pets Allowed
  • Pit Toilets
  • Propane Stove
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Know Before You Go
  • There is a maximum stay of three consecutive nights with a total of seven days per calendar year.
  • Water, electricity and sewer is not available at the cabin.
  • Use caution; Hornet Road 9805 is narrow, with few pullouts.
  • Bears frequent the area; use appropriate containers for food and garbage.
  • Please bring garbage bags; this is a "pack-it-in, pack-it-out" facility.
  • Contact the ranger district office at (406) 387-3800, during normal office hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for updates on weather and road conditions.
  • The cabin remains locked; a combination lock code will be contained in the reservation confirmation letter.
  • Guests must clean cabin prior to departure; a fee will be charged if extra clean-up is needed.
  • Commercial use of cabin is prohibited.
  • Click here for more information on the Flathead National Forest.
  • In early to mid-summer, expect snow on the road preventing you from driving to the Lookout's trailhead. Be prepared to hike an extra distance.
  • Refunds will not be given for inclement weather or road conditions.
  • 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):
48.87778, -114.51167
48°52'40"N, 114°30'42"W

From Columbia Falls, take Nucleus Avenue north through Columbia Falls and turn east on Railroad Street. At the stop sign, the road becomes the North Fork Road. Continue on North Fork Road for about 45 miles and over the railroad overpass. Turn left (west) on Whale Creek Road 318 and drive 4 miles, then turn right on the narrow Hornet Road 9805 and go 5.2 miles to the trailhead of Hornet Trail 349. Hike about a mile to the lookout.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

10 Hungry Horse Drive, P.O. Box190340

Phone Number:

Information:  (406)387-3800
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