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part ofNez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Thu Jun 18 2015   Season Dates


Lookout Butte has a history that spans nearly 80 years and has been home to three lookout towers. The first, built in 1923, was 45 feet tall with just a platform on which to stand. A cabin was put on the tower a couple years later. In 1935, a 50-foot tower was constructed. A new tower was built beside the old one in 1962, and this is currently available for rent.

The current 60-foot wooden tower offers panoramic views and the perfect setting for enjoying the area's tranquility and natural beauty. Guests can enjoy the scenery from the exterior catwalk or from inside the single-room cabin.

Natural Features:

The lookout sits at 5,869 feet in elevation with breathtaking views of the Selway Crags in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area, the Seven Devils Mountain Range, Coolwater Ridge, Pilot Knob Lookout and the Lochsa and Selway River drainages.


Several primitive roads in the area are open to mountain biking and off-road vehicles. Other activities in the area include hiking through second-growth forest and birding.


The lookout has room for up to four people and comes with two twin beds with foam mattresses. Other amenities include a propane stove and oven with fuel, a table and chairs, a broom, a bucket and a mop.

A pit toilet sits downhill to the south of the lookout, and there's a campfire ring near the base. A pulley-and-rope to transport supplies up to the cabin may be available, but is not guaranteed. Guests should be prepared to haul supplies up five flights of stairs.

Guests are required to bring their own drinking water. Other recommended supplies include food, sleeping bags or bedding, coolers, cookware and utensils, dishes, warm clothing and rain gear, flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, matches, toilet paper, garbage bags and the combination for the lookout and gate. Click here for more information about this lookout.

Nearby Attractions:

Guests can take a sightseeing drive from Lowell to Selway Falls and back. This 42-mile drive offers opportunities to appreciate the pristine beauty of the Selway River, a Wild and Scenic River, as well as picturesque Selway Falls.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Birding
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cleaning Equipment
  • Fire finder
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Pit Toilets
  • Propane Stove
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Table & Chairs
  • Twin Bed(s) with Mattress
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • Berry Picking
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
Know Before You Go
  • Guests are discouraged from bringing small children due to the dangers that exist on towers of this height; use caution with pets
  • Access to lookout requires a vehicle with high ground clearance - trailers are not recommended
  • Most lookouts have occasional visits from Forest Service employees or members of the public who want to look at the views from the catwalk or use the pit toilet; the public is allowed at this site
  • Be sure to lock the cabin if you leave for the day
  • Cell phone coverage is unreliable; nearest phone is 25 miles away in Lowell, Idaho
  • This is a pack-it-in/pack-it-out facility
  • No livestock allowed at the lookout site
  • Please stay inside cabin during lightning activity or high winds
  • Click here for more information about Nez Perce-Clearwater 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):
45.48934, -115.87457
45°29'22"N, 115°52'28"W

Travel to Lowell, Idaho, located approximately midway between Lewiston, Idaho and Missoula, Montana on Highway 12, milepost 97. Cross the Selway Bridge, drive 3.5 miles and cross the Swiftwater Bridge on your right. Follow the signs 13 miles for about 1 hour to the lookout.

An alternate route involves traveling 6.5 miles upriver from the Selway Bridge, cross the O'Hara Bridge on the right and follow the signs for about 1 hour to the lookout. The last quarter mile can be traveled in a conventional vehicle at low speed and with caution.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

831 Selway Road
KOOSKIA  ID  83539

Phone Number:

Information:  (208)926-4258
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