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MISSION LOOKOUT, MT

part ofFlathead National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: MISSION LOOKOUT
Status: Closed through Wed May 14 2014   Season Dates
 

Overview

Mission Lookout towers above the forest canopy, providing guests with unrivaled 360-degree views of the beautiful Swan Range, Mission Mountains and Swan Lake. The site served for 75 years as a fire detection tower, and the current lookout has been around since its construction in 1959.

The tower can be accessed by vehicle. A parking area is adjacent to the facility. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

At an elevation of approximately 3,700 feet, the cabin affords views of Flathead National Forest, including the Mission Mountains and Swan Lake.

A variety of wildlife make its home in the area.

Recreation:

Along with the spectacular scenery, the immediate area offers visitors an unlimited array of outdoor activities ranging from fishing and swimming at the nearby Swan Lake, to watching migratory waterfowl at the wildlife viewing area.

Hunting is also popular not far from the lookout. Shooting within 150 yards of the Lookout or from/across roads is prohibited.

A variety of hiking and mountain biking trails can be found in the area.

Facilities:

The 15-by-15 facility sits atop a 40-foot tower. It is equipped with a built-in double bed and two folding cots, to accommodate up to four adults. The lookout also has a propane cooking stove, simple cooking utensils and a table with four chairs. A modern vault toilet, picnic area and fire ring are located at the base of the tower.

No water or electricity is available. Guests should bring plenty of water, bedding, food, firewood, toiletries and a non-open flame light source, such as a battery-powered lantern, as candles are not allowed within the cabin. Click here for more cabin details.

Nearby Attractions:

The town of Swan Lake, about 15 minutes away, has a general store with limited groceries and a restaurant.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Picnic Area
  • Bed(s) With Mattress
  • Berry Picking
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cook Stove
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Propane Stove
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Accessible Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Swimming
  • Fishing
  • General Store
  • Restaurant
Know Before You Go
  • Water, electricity and sewer is not available at the cabin
  • Grizzly bears frequent the area; use appropriate containers for food and garbage
  • The lookout is a 40-foot tower and guests must be prepared to climb and carry provisions up the steep stairway; due to the height of the tower, children under age 10 are discouraged
  • Pets are not allowed at the cabin
  • Candles or any other open flames are prohibited within the structure
  • Please bring garbage bags; this is a "pack-it-in, pack-it-out" facility
  • Contact the ranger district office at (406) 837-7500, during normal office hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for updates on weather and road conditions; refunds will not be given for inclement weather or 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
  • 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 don'tmovefirewood.org.
  • 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 don'tmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
47.89417, -113.87306
47°53'39"N, 113°52'23"W

From Swan Lake, travel south on Highway 83 for 3 miles. Turn west onto Porcupine Creek Road 10229 (mile-marker 68). After passing Forest Road 9714, turn right onto Forest Road 9803 (2.2 miles after leaving the state highway). Continue on Forest Road 9803 for 1.4 miles, to a gate. The gate may be opened. If not, it can be opened with the same combination code as the tower. The tower and parking area are located just beyond the gate.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

MISSION LOOKOUT
200 RANGER STATION ROAD
BIGFORK MT 59911

Phone Number:

Information: (406)837-7500
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