Spring Butte Lookout



Administrative agency:  Deschutes NF
Staffing status:
  paid position
  5462 ft
  1992 40ft wooden tower with wooden octagon cab
Access:  access can be a little tricky, coming from La Pine the main FS road is paved into the area of the lookout, the roads are then gravel and signed somewhat well closer to the lookout, then the problems are encountered, the FS map (at least the older one) shows the lookout road incorrectly, the road with that number does not lead to the lookout, instead drive 150 yards west of the intersection of 2220 and 2430, then the 2430-830 road which leads to the summit is encountered, a sign saying the road is closed due to wildlife is present, but use of the road is acceptable to access the lookout, this road continues for around 1.5 miles, around 1/3 rd of a mile before the lookout a gate is present which might be opened during fire season,  approximately 9 miles of paved road driving and 6-8 of gravel and dirt road driving are necessary from the highway, several routes are possible with the easiest likely coming off the highway at La Pine
Road conditions:
  the paved road is in good condition for the most part, the gravel roads are somewhat wash boarded and contain some potholes, the road to the summit is mostly dirt and is somewhat rough with some dips in it, at the top some gravel is again present at the parking area
the interior contains a bed, shelves, counter, propane heater, stove, refrigerator, and lighting, as well as the octagon cab essential, mini-blinds for the nice large windows
Other structures on summit:
  a permanently mounted propane tank sits near the lookout as does what is likely the original garage, which is now in poor condition with holes in the roof, a root cellar type structure is also present which contains a large water tank for the lookout to use as well as to be available in case of a fire on the summit, it is also worth mentioning that a newer vault toilet resides on the summit, it is not too often these are found at lookouts
Electric energy source:
  several photovoltaic systems are present, the FS has a small panel which appears to charge a deep cycle battery and likely powers the radio, and cell phone
  this is one of the four new towers on the Deschutes NF, the octagon cab is somewhat controversial among lookouts and is one of three in the state, it is worth noting that although the Deschutes does seem to take care of their staffed towers, other un-staffed towers and other historic buildings are in need of repair, the view is somewhat general taking in the rather uneventful surrounding forest, some trees are growing on the summit as well as smaller plants, of all the lookouts on the forest, Spring Butte likely receives the fewest amount of visitors, despite the closer access to the highway, it is also interesting to note that the lookout views a large amount of private land protected by Walker Range to the west, but forest land in most other areas

Updated May 31, 2009 with information provided by Tom Fuller lookout for 2009 season

Visited:  Dominic Luebbers August 2002, July 2007

a well built tower as you can see



the pads from the original tower as well as the phone line pole

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