Ritter Butte Lookout

 

Administrative agency:  ODF, John Day unit
Staffing status: 
used for emergencies, as well as a patrol point for engines
Elevation: 
4200 ft
Structure: 
1950 3-story tower with metal siding 
Access: 
this tower is uniquely located approximately a half mile off highway 395, the tower is signed initially, and no gates are present
Road conditions: 
the first section of the road is well graveled, the second part is somewhat steeper, it is not signed, but is hard to miss, it is mostly dirt and has large ruts running down it due to water, depending on the season it might be better to walk up this part
Interior: 
the interior contains a bed and chairs
Other structures on summit: 
what appears to be an old woodshed sits near the tower, several radio antennas are mounted on poles next to the LO, a truck which houses the radio equipment is parked on the summit as well
Electric power source: 
grid power, as well as land phone line
Other: 
the tower is visitor friendly due to the sign and no gates, it is rare to find a lookout so close to a highway and still be opened to the public, it is clearly visible from the highway, the expansive view is panoramic and not obstructed by trees in any place, if you are in the area it is an easy tower to find and visit
Visited: 
Dominic Luebbers in March 2002 and October 2003



Ritter Butte from the highway, it appears much closer in person



 



 


snow is still visible on the hills
 



 


the outhouse and what appears to be the helipad



 

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