Activities and Amenities
WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT, MT
part ofLolo National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open year round. Season Dates
OverviewWest Fork Butte Lookout is an ideal place for guests to experience the mountains of southern Missoula from a unique vantage point. The facility provides near-360-degree views of the surrounding area. It is equipped with basic supplies and provides guests a base camp location by which to explore the area.
Access to the lookout is variable during the spring and fall. Guests may have to hike, ski or snowmobile about 8 miles to the facility. Summer availability is relatively short, depending on the fire season. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.
The 14-by-14' lookout is situated on a rocky knob with spectacular views of the surrounding area, including the back of Lolo Peak, the opposing Bitterroot Mountains and the Lolo Creek drainage. It is close to the Montana-Idaho border and Lolo Pass.
Hiking trails are available in the area. Visitors often bring cross-country skis or snowshoes for wintertime fun. Snowmobiles are often used to reach the lookout in the winter, but there are also many adjacent roads to explore while staying at the cabin.
The lookout can sleep up to four people and is equipped with metal bunkbeds and mattress pads. It also has a table and chairs, a propane cook stove, basic cooking and eating utensils and some pots and pans, as well as a wood stove for heat. Firewood can be gathered in the area surrounding the facility, but is not always available. A vault toilet is provided.
Activities and Amenities
Know Before You Go
Getting There:GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Missoula, travel south on Highway 93 to Lolo. Turn onto Highway 12 and continue west for 17 miles, following Lolo Creek to Earl Tenant Campground. Turn left onto West Fork Butte Road. Cross the concrete bridge over Lolo Creek and turn right. Follow Forest Road 37 for approximately 7 miles to the second intersection. Turn a sharp left and travel through the gate. Follow the road to the lookout.
The gate at Forest Road 37 is closed during the winter and early spring to provide skiing and snowmobiling opportunities. Visitors can park at the parking area, which is 100 feet west of the campground, and follow the route to the cabin. Maps are available online or for purchase by calling the Missoula Ranger District.
Mailing Address:WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT
BUILDING 24 FORT MISSOULA
MISSOULA MT 59804
Phone Number:Information: (406)329-3814