Activities and Amenities
|Greater Than 10 Miles|
TAMARACK LOOKOUT CABIN, OR
part ofUmatilla National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Fri May 15 2015 Season Dates
OverviewTamarack Lookout Cabin offers outdoor enthusiasts a cozy cabin with epic views atop Tamarack Mountain. The cabin can accommodate four guests, and awards a unique opportunity to view miles of the Umatilla National Forest from sunup to sundown.
The site was originally used as a fire detection lookout. The original structure was a platform built on a high tree in 1925. It was replaced with a 96-foot Aermotor tower in 1933, and a neighboring cabin was built to house Forest Service employees. A utility shed was also built. When the cabin burnt down in 1966, the shed was converted into housing. That same shed is where guests can stay today. The tower is also still standing, and visitor are welcome to climb up and enjoy the view.
At 4,979 feet above sea level, Tamarack Mountain overlooks the John Day River basin, between Spray and Kimberly. The lookout and the mountain it tops are named after the western larch, a tree that is particularly fruitful in the Blue and Wallowa Mountains. Western tanagers and dusty flycatchers frequent the area and purple-blue spikes of lupine, white and pink yarrow and yellow balsamroot add bursts of color to the landscape.
Over 26 miles of trails throughout the Heppner Ranger District can be accessed from the cabin for hiking or horseback riding. Plentiful fishing opportunities abound in streams, Penland Lake and Bull Prairie Lake. Many roads are open to off-road vehicles, and 28 miles of designated trails are available. Other activities include hunting, wildlife viewing and bird watching.
The cozy converted shed offers one room with amenities including propane lights, a heating stove and cook stove, refrigerator, cookware, silverware and dishes. Furnishings consist of a set of bunkbeds and a wood table with five chairs. No water is onsite, so visitors must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing.
Heppner is the nearest town with a general store, which is about an hour's drive away.
Activities and Amenities
Know Before You Go
Getting There:GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Lexington, OR, take Highway 74/207 east to Heppner. Continue south, on Highway 207. At the junction in Heppner, bear right to continue south on Highway 207 for 39 miles through Heppner, Ruggs, Hardman and past Anson Wright County Park to the junction of Highway 207 and Forest Road 24 (0.1 miles past the Bull Prairie Campground turn-off). Turn left (east) on FR 24 (a gravel road) and travel 6.5 miles to FR 2407. Turn right (south) on FR 2407 and travel 1.5 miles to FR 040. Travel a half-mile on FR 40 to the cabin, which is on the right before the helipad.
Winter access, from mid-November to mid-May, depends on weather conditions. Winter use of the cabin in not guaranteed, as snow levels vary and the last mile to the cabin is very steep.
Mailing Address:TAMARACK LOOKOUT CABIN
P.O BOX 7
HEPPNER OR 97836
Phone Number:Information: (541)676-9187