West Myrtle Butte Lookout


The historic lookout and cabin are still in pretty good shape.

Administrative agency:  Malheur NF although used by the Burns Interagency Zone
Staffing status:
  used for emergency detection
  1928 60ft steel tower with ground cabin and garage converted to cabin
Access:  access to this lookout is very easy, the shortest amount of gravel road driving is from the west, when traveling the single lane paved road the butte is signed as one mile, turning there leads to a gravel road, it can be a little sketchy when driving up as there is a large open gravel area with some spurs off of it, the obvious road isn't hard to find, you continue up and reach a small switchback and locked gate, from there the lookout is less then 1/4 mile with easy walking, the total distance from the pavement is less than a mile
Road conditions:
  the single lane paved road is in good condition, the gravel road is somewhat rough with some low spots and ditches, it does improve somewhat near the gate, access should be accomplishable with most vehicles due to the shortness of the gravel section
  the interior of the lookout likely contains the fire finder stand, during the time of activity the lookout enjoyed a rather plush setup, the cabin next to the tower appears to have contained the stove and also contains a sink, propane lighting, and in the second room a bed if I remember correctly, the second cabin appears to have contained a woodstove, as well as additional beds, it also contains a propane water heater along with a sink and shower in the back room, propane lighting is also present in the second cabin
Other structures on summit:
  along with the lookout tower, a cabin is present that served as the living quarters for the lookout, a second building that was likely the garage sits near the cabin, this building has been renovated and also served as living quarters, a tower with water tank is also onsite which provided gravity feed water to the cabins, and possibly other applications, the propane tank is no longer present
Electric power source:
  it appears that the cabins had been rented or may be candidates for rental use in the future, inside both buildings are several bases where smoke or other kinds of detectors were once mounted, this likely occurred after the lookout was staffed, building materials were also stored inside one of the cabins suggesting that some renovation was going to take place, a small amount of vandalism had taken place so hopefully some movement will be made to restore the structures and use them for something, overall things appeared to be in good shape at this very historic location, some logging appears to have recently occurred on the summit as well, giving the structures a little more room, the view from the lookout is nice taking in much of the surrounding forest, perhaps 6 other lookouts or mountains occupied by lookouts are visible
Dominic Luebbers September 2002



the cabin

I think this is Snow Mountain, notice the glitch in the photo due to neglectful processing

the cloud-filled valley after rain the previous day

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