King Mountain Lookout

 


The all metal live-in cab is rather unique to Oregon.
 

Administrative agency:  Malheur NF although used by the Burns Interagency Zone
Staffing status:
  used for emergency detection
Elevation:
  6688
Structure: 
1957 10ft steel tower with steel cab
Access:  access is not too bad, coming from the west requires more gravel road driving, when on the two lane paved main road the lookout is specifically signed, the road becomes gravel once you have turned, several spurs do branch off of it but things are signed rather well, after driving for some distance the spur to the lookout is signed if I remember correctly, from there it is less than three miles to the lookout, coming from the east on the main road, the lookout is signed as well, and access is rather straightforward, no gates are present
Road conditions:
  coming from either direction the road is in pretty good condition it does contain some ruts and such but is pretty good, the spur to the lookout is a lesser quality road, it is composed of dirt and native material, it does have some ruts in it and is rather bumpy in spots, it also curves in places and is narrow in spots so drive slowly and watch for other vehicles
Interior:
  the interior contains some aging furniture from when it was staffed fulltime, but is now only setup for occasional use, some remnants of the propane system are still present as is the pad where the propane tank once sat, along with some of the piping, even the mountings for the weather box and flagpole are still there
Other structures on summit:
  two repeater buildings and tower which I am rather sure are FS sit close to the lookout, an old garage which is in need of help also sits near the lookout, a short ways away a larger repeater building and tall tower are present along with a propane tank which appears to power an emergency generator, I think these are for the state police
Electric power source:
  the FS repeater is powered by a fair sized photovoltaic array on the roof of one of the buildings, the other repeater has an array on the roof as well and seems to also have a backup generator, the lookout appears to have a radio antenna mounted on it but doesn't have a power source
Other:
  the active Calamity Butte Lookout is about nine miles away, and covers most of the surrounding area, however it cannot see over King Mountain so the lookout is used during lightening activity, it is again nice to see this lookout still used at times and apparently receiving a little care, the lookout itself seems to be in pretty good condition, the summit is rather opened with some trees on the north side, it is also large and spacious covered mainly with light grasses, the view is rather expansive with at least several other lookouts visible, as well as some farms and such when looking south, overall it is a nice lookout to visit, even including cows grazing on the summit
Visited: 
Dominic Luebbers September 2002


the lookout in the distance as you drive up the road


the lookout flagpole, FS repeater and part of the garage


the view from a distance when standing near the other repeater



 



 


the aerial view taken from part way up the FS repeater tower



I think the small bump on the horizon is Snow Mountain


The active Calamity Butte Lookout from King

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All content copyright Dominic Luebbers
Email: dominic@forestlookout.com