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Attention: Please be advised, this is an active fire lookout and will be staffed by Forest Service personnel, during daylight hours, for situations critical to the district.

PICKETT BUTTE LOOKOUT, OR

part ofUmpqua National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: PICKETT BUTTE LOOKOUT
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

Overview

Perched atop Pickett Butte at an elevation of 3,200 feet, this lookout offers visitors a unique lodging experience in Umpqua National Forest in southwest Oregon.

After climbing 40 feet up on a very narrow steep stairway to the one-room structure, guests are rewarded with panoramic views of the entire Jackson Creek Drainage and much of the lower elevation lands around the town of Tiller.

The original lookout was 25 feet tall and built in 1934. In 1948 the tower was replaced with the current flat top structure.

The tower is available for reservations October 1st through July 15th (lookout is utilized for fire season during the summer months). The roads to the lookout are not plowed, nor are they maintained for passenger cars. High clearance or four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for travel to this site, and guests must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

In 1898, homesteader William T. Pickett rode into this area on horseback and decided to stay and build a life and home. Perched atop the butte named after him, the Pickett Butte Lookout offers a view of the entire Jackson Creek Drainage and much of the lower elevation lands around the town of Tiller. The Rogue-Umpqua Divide, south and east of Pickett Butte, has scenic peak landmarks, which are capped with snow until early summer.

Water is abundant in streams and a handful of lakes in the area, and diverse plant communities provide habitat for abundant wildlife ranging from hummingbird to black bear.

Learn more about bear safety.

Recreation:

Hiking, birding and wildlife viewing are popular among guests. Seasonal changes envelope the area as snowmelt gives rise to spring flowers and vivid autumn colors welcome a landscape dusted with snow.

Guests may enjoy a day of scenic driving along a portion of the 172-miles Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway. Mountain and river scenery unfold along the highway, showcasing everything from rolling oak-covered hills and towering coniferous forests to roaring white water rapids and incised intercanyon lava flows.

Swimming at the Three C Rock Picnic Area, about 7 miles from the lookout, is also a refreshing way to spend a warm summer afternoon.

Facilities:

The lookout cabin is a 12 x 12 room, set 40 feet above the ground. It is furnished with a single bed, and a small table and chair, and is equipped with a propane heater, lanterns, cooking stove with oven and a refrigerator (propane is provided). A vault toilet is located at the lookout site. There is a pulley system available to transport items from the ground to the lookout (use at your own risk). There is no water at the site, so visitors must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing. Potable water is available at a spigot in front of the Tiller Ranger Station office (20 minutes).

Guests must bring several of their own supplies, including food, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, towels, dish soap, matches, cooking gear, toilet paper and garbage bags.

Visitors must pack out all trash; trash bags can be dumped at the transfer site on County Road 46 at milepost 4.5. The transfer site is only open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A confirmation letter required to dump at this site. There is also a dumpster available at the Ranger Station.

Nearby Attractions:

Visitors may want to take some time to visit nearby Crater Lake National Park for a glimpse into the area's fascinating geological and cultural history.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Mattress(es)
  • Picnic Area
  • Propane & Cooking Stove
  • Propane Heat
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Refrigerator
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Swimming
  • Table & Chairs
  • Vault Toilet
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • Maximum capacity is four people (due to weight limits on the tower)
  • There is no water at the site
  • This site is not recommended for families with small children; the high steep tower stairway, catwalk access, and potential for inclement weather pose significant risks for injury if not careful.
  • The tower is secured with an overhead hatch door which may be difficult to open; please use caution when opening and closing this door, and keep the door closed while in the lookout
  • Please do not let pets roam freely, as they may endanger wildlife and plants
  • Keep the building and grounds clean to deter squirrel, mice, rats, bears
  • Doors and windows should be locked and all personal items removed upon departure
  • The lookout tower is a no-smoking facility
  • Learn more about Umpqua National Forest.

    Storms are part of the thrill of staying at a lookout, but they are also extremely dangerous. If a lightning storm should occur while you are at the lookout, please follow these rules:

  • Stay indoors or in your car
  • If you are trapped outside during a lightning storm, move to lower ground and stay low to the ground
  • Do not stand under trees or other high objects
  • If you are in the lookout building, close windows and doors
  • Turn off radios and not touch anything metal, the lookout itself is "grounded"

  • Don't Move Firewood: Please protect Pacific Northwest forests by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
42.95, -122.84972
42°57'0"N, 122°50'59"W

Entry to the lookout is by combination lock. Please call the Tiller Ranger District office at (541)825-3100 at least 4 days prior to your arrival at the lookout to confirm the combination.

Please contact the Ranger District prior to arriving at the cabin to check on any restrictions or conditions, such as fire or road closures, weather or storms that may affect the quality of your visit.

From Canyonville take West 1st Street and turn onto SE 3rd St/OR-227. Continue to follow OR-227 approximately 23 miles until you reach Tiller. From Tiller take Douglas County Road #46 which becomes South Umpqua Road, Forest Service Road #28, for 3 miles to Pickett Butte, Forest Service Road #3113. (On the Right) Follow Forest Service Road #3113 for 5 miles to the Forest Service #3113-300 Road. Follow Forest Service Road #3113-300 for 2 miles to Pickett Butte Lookout. The road to the lookout is not snow plowed.

Please use caution during winter months. Pickett Butte's elevation is 3,200 feet and does receive snow. The road to the lookout is not plowed.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PICKETT BUTTE LOOKOUT
27812 TILLER TRAIL HWY.
TILLER  OR  97484

Phone Number:

Information:  (541)825-3100
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