Calamity Butte Lookout


The newly constructed Calamity continues the longtime service of this site with the older retired lookout in the background.

Administrative agency:  Malheur NF although staffed by the Burns Interagency Zone
Staffing status:
  paid position
  1927 wooden ground cabin lookout with new 50ft wooden tower and octagon cab under construction for some time and finished around 2001
Access:  the best access is probably coming from the west, the main FS road is gravel but it is in pretty good condition, the road to the lookout is specifically signed from the main road, it is around 3-4 miles from the main road to the lookout, it does fork in one location but it is rather apparent which direction to go, overall it is rather straightforward with no gates present
Road conditions:
  the main FS road in the area does turn to gravel in the area of the lookout but is in good condition, the road to the lookout is composed mostly of natural rocks and dirt, it is somewhat rough in a good number of places
  as would be expected with a new lookout, the interior is in excellent condition, progress has finally been made in several areas, instead of either a small refrigerator with little room or a large one that blocks windows, this design includes two small units, it also uses a futon type bed that uses less room during the day, a nice linoleum type floor, electric lighting, a nice counter complete with sink that is soon to have running water, a propane heater, nice propane stove, mini blinds to reduce glare from the large windows, an integrated photovoltaic system and spacious catwalk
Other structures on summit:
  the very historic older lookout sits next to the road right before you come to the new tower, sitting next to it is a permanently mounted propane tank, these are joined by an old garage, a second large propane tank sits next to the new tower
Electric power source:
  the new tower has several solar panels mounted on it which charge large deep cycle batteries on the catwalk, the charge controller is located in the cab
  yet another example of the excellent attention paid to lookouts in this area, it is somewhat interesting that the ground cabin was used so many years before being replaced by the present tower, the view from the ground is pretty good although is a little poor in some areas, the tower is definitely an improvement, the summit is open and spacious, views are expansive taking in much of the surrounding forest and some rangeland, the lookout is busy reporting many fires per season, Ken the lookout has been staffing lookouts in this area for some time and still enjoys the job
Dominic Luebbers September 2002

almost at the top of the road with all structures in view



the retired lookout is still in good condition and is one of the oldest lookouts in the state

although this photo was taken from the new tower it does give the appearance of flying over the site in an airplane

Calamity from the road, can you see the lookout?


the view towards King Mountain Lookout, I think I have it marked correctly in the photo

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