Saddleblanket Mountain Lookout

 


Click on the lookout to go inside
Not the best photo although it was almost dark and the heavily treed summit makes photographing the lookout a little difficult.

Administrative agency:  Willamette NF
Staffing status: 
last staffed in the 60's the lookout is abandoned and in poor condition
Elevation: 
4969ft
Structure: 
1927 steel Aermotor tower, originally with ladder only access, wooden stairs were later added inside the tower
Access: 
it is possible to access the tower from several different direction, all of which require driving a good distance on gravel roads, signs are sometimes absent or weathered and hard to read, due to this as well and other factors this tower may not be as straightforward to access as some, a gate is present approximately one mile form the trailhead, however it was opened upon my visit, a second gate was in place at one time but has since been removed, the trail is around 1/4 mile in length, it is signed and it is pretty easy to follow, the last portion right below the tower is somewhat overgrown
Road conditions: 
the gravel road starts out in fair condition and remains that way until right before the trailhead, it then becomes very steep and rocky with many potholes, and is not usable for most two wheel drive vehicles, the best idea is to park there and walk the last distance to the trailhead
Interior: 
the interior is empty except for some graffiti, the windows are long gone and the roof has bullet holes in it, it is still possible to see where the fire finder stand was once mounted, many pieces of the tower are still painted saying something like "US Forest Service Lowell OR", it is also possible to see evidence of the phone system if you look for it
Other structures on summit: 
none, the living quarters that were once present are now gone
Electric power source: 
None
Other: 
climbing the tower isn't the easiest as access has been somewhat restricted although it is still possible to do so, if you chose this more adventurous option be sure to be careful as a couple of the stair treads have been removed, even if you climb the tower some of the view has been overgrown, although a nice view of the forest is still possible from the tower, from the ground the view has been totally blocked by trees, at onetime the FS had thought about moving the lookout to the ranger station although that never occurred, current plans are to keep the lookout in its current location and restrict access to it and then setup some sort of interpretive area at the site, if you are in the area the Lowell Ranger Station often displays an intricately done scale model of the lookout in their lobby area
Visited: 
Dominic Luebbers August 2002


 


in this photo it is possible to see the ladder and stairs



a view of the forest at dusk with smoke form the Hemlock Fire in the air


the sunset from the lookout
 

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