Indian Ridge Lookout
Willamette National Forest
The Indian Ridge Lookout sits at an elevation of 5,405 feet in the Willamette National Forest.
Built in 1958, the lookout was used for firefighting by Forest Service personnel until 1973. The lookout is still staffed occasionally during emergencies.
The lookout is accessible by car, although the access road is rocky. Guests must be prepared to climb steep, narrow steps up the 30-foot tower to access the lookout's cabin. The accommodations are primitive, so guests should be prepared to pack in most of their own supplies and gear.
The 16x16-ft. cabin sleeps 4 and is equipped with 2 twin beds with foam mattresses, a table with chairs, broom and dust pan, mop and storage shelves. An outhouse with vault toilet is located
50 feet from the lookout and a picnic table and fire ring are outside.
No heat, electricity or water are available. Guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing. Propane cook stoves and
lanterns are recommended, since they create fewer fumes than liquid gas appliances.
Items such as a cook stove, bedding, flashlights, dishes and cookware, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, towels and an ice chest
are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving.
Need to Know
- Entry to the cabin is by combination lock. The combination is provided in the reservation confirmation letter. Call the McKenzie River Ranger Station (541) 822-3381 at least 72 hours prior to arrival to confirm combination code and for updates.
- The McKenzie River Ranger District office is open Monday-Saturday during summer, and Monday-Friday the rest of the year. Please call 541-822-3381 for information at least 72 hours prior to arrival for updates or other information. Office hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Indian Ridge Lookout has a 2 night stay minimum requirement. Single days that appear to be available cannot be rented.
- There is no water or heat at the lookout
- Due to the height of the tower and the sheer cliffs near the lookout, this location is not recommended for small children
- There is no tent, trailer or RV camping at the site
- This is a pack it out facility, guests must pack out all trash and clean cabin before departure by wiping down all surfaces and sweeping floors
- Guests must close all windows and doors and lock the lookout upon departure
- No smoking
- No pets or livestock allowed in the facility
- Guests should contact the Ranger District prior to arriving to check on any restrictions or conditions that may affect their visit
- Learn more about the Willamette National Forest
- 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.
Views from the lookout include the Three Sisters, which are close and prominent to the northeast, along with views of the Cascade Crest both north and south. The Sand
Mountain and Carpenter Mountain Lookouts are visible with binoculars. Hidden Lake is visible below the northern edge of mountaintop.
The open ridge is covered with beargrass and huckleberries. Several rocky outcroppings are covered by wildflowers and mossy vegetation, depending on the season.
Willamette National Forest offers prime habitat for such species as Roosevelt elk, black bear, bald eagles, black tail deer and bobcats, among other wildlife.
A short trail to Hidden Lake offers access to alpine swimming and sunbathing.
From the lookout's perch above the tree line and far away from city lights, guests can enjoy spectacular night skies and star gazing.
An unmaintained trail on the ridge meanders through alpine trees and beargrass, allowing hikers to explore the mountaintop.
The French Pete Trail Area in the Three Sisters Wilderness offers several miles of hiking. Cougar Reservoir and Hidden Lake are also in the vicinity, offering
additional recreation options.
57600 McKenzie Highway MCKENZIE BRIDGE OR 97413
For campground inquiries, please call: 541-822-3381
Learn more about gear rental options for your trip
From Blue River, OR, travel 4 miles east on Highway 126 to Aufderheide Drive/Forest Service Road (FSR) 19. Continue south on Aufderheide Drive, taking a right at the Y and climbing to the top of Cougar Reservoir. Continue south on Aufderheide Drive past Cougar Reservoir 7 miles to FSR 1980. Turn west on FSR 1980 and climb up Indian Ridge to