Rebel Rock Lookout


Click on the lookout to go inside
The hillside location of the lookout is especially evident in this photo.

Administrative agency:  Willamette NF
Staffing status: 
last used in the 1960's the lookout has been abandoned for a long time
5,060 ft
1955 L-4 cab with 4 pane windows and external shutter props
  this is a more difficult lookout to access then some, the road to the trailhead is in good condition, it is a paved two lane main road all the way, you will see a sign for Rebel Creek Trailhead from the main road, the trailhead is right off the road, two trails are accessible from that location, the Rebel Rock Trail and the Rebel Creek Trail, the first is the shortest and has the best access to the lookout, it climbs rather steadily most of the way, at first the trail is easy to find, at a later point it goes into some meadows where the trail is not well maintained and hard to find, only a slight v shape in the brush is visible as you move through plants that reach higher then your knees, be careful at this point not to get lost, you then come to a summit where it levels out and a view of the Sisters is possible, it is then a little hard to find where the trail goes from there, but after looking a bit it can be found, soon you see an old sign propped on a rock that says Rebel Rock Helipad, and Rebel Rock Lookout 1/4 mile with an arrow pointing to the left when facing the sign, be careful at this point, you will continue walking on the main trail, then the very short spur trail to the lookout is not signed although someone had piled some rocks by it during my visit, if you don't see the spur trail you will walk right past the lookout, if you continue to walk and are sure you have gone too far turn around and walk back, if you pay attention you will see the lookout on your left sitting on the edge of the ridge, the total distance from the trailhead is around 5 miles
Road conditions:
  the road to the trailhead is in good condition, please note the lookout sits in the Three Sisters Wilderness, all wilderness restrictions apply, a self issue wilderness permit is available at the trailhead free of charge, and is required, a Northwest Forest Pass is also required and can be purchased at nearby ranger stations, with this lookout especially it is a good idea to carry a good topographic map of the trail, as well as a compass and other hiking items, the overall trail is fairly steep, allow plenty of time for this lookout
  the interior is somewhat like it would have been when the lookout was built, what is likely the original wood burning cooking and heating stove is still present, although it is not in usable condition anymore, the fire finder stand is missing although a table is still there and several cabinets remain although now occupied by rodents, looking inside one of them reveals that it was once used as the breeze box cooler, some vandalism has taken place with some windows broken and a small amount of graffiti on the walls, overall things are pretty good for the amount of time it has been unused
Other structures on summit:
 none, about 1/4 mile from the lookout an old unused helipad is marked on the main trail
Electric power source:
 the lookout sits on hillside location which is rarely found anymore, the trail comes down to the lookout, the viewable area is half that of a traditional lookout, as you look from the catwalk you see the main road area outside the wilderness, the road itself is not visible due to the beauty strip of trees that parallels it, a good amount of the forest can be seen with many ridges, in some ways visiting this lookout is like stepping back in time, as you hike up to it you will notice the original single wire phone line hanging from many of the trees, when you get to the lookout, the junction box where the phone connected is also in place, some maintenance does need to be done to secure the broken windows and shutters, along with a few holes in the catwalk and general upkeep and painting, but for the most part it has stood very well, it is hard to get over the rather odd location, and interesting to think what it must have been like to work in this lookout for the limited time it was active
unfortunately everything may end as this is one of the two lookouts still remaining in the Three Sisters Wilderness, it is possible that it will either be moved or destroyed as the Willamette National Forest is not supportive of wilderness structures, it seems rather unfortunate however that a historic and rare structure might be removed when it is not disturbing anything, it sits on the edge of the wilderness, and almost all of the view is out of the wilderness
Visited:  Dominic Luebbers July 2002

if you go too far, pass the lookout and turn around, or chose to travel on the longer Rebel Creek Trail you will see the lookout from the main trail

the ridge side location is apparent in this photo


looking across the lookout as the trail leads into it



the destruction of windows and shutters can be seen in this photo



view of the forest



although hard to see in the dark photo the phone line and insulators intersect the trail in many location

Home>Fire Lookout Index>Rebel Rock>Interior

All content copyright Dominic Luebbers