Mt. Baldy-Buckhorn Ridge Lookout
- Places to Stay, Forest Service Cabins, Hiking/Backpacking, Wildlife Viewing
- General info
The Mount Baldy - Buckhorn Ridge Lookout sits at an elevation of 6,529 feet in the Kootenai National Forest. This location has been used as an observation point for detecting forest fires since 1910. The current lookout tower was built in 1957. The lookout is typically available from late June through late September, and is accessible by car, though high clearance vehicles are recommended for the primitive roads. Some creature comforts are provided, but guests should be prepared to pack in many of their own amenities.
Natural Features: The lookout offers views of the Kaniksu National Forest in Idaho, the Cabinet Mountain Range, and Rock Candy Mountain. The panorama features endless mountain peaks and evergreen forests. Guests have an ideal location for watching sunrises and sunsets, or for gazing out over the starry night skies. Kootenai National Forest supports populations of deer, elk, moose, grizzly and black bears, wolves, and mountain lions (bear safety). A variety of smaller mammals and birds can also be found.
Recreation: Aside from exploring Mount Baldy, hikers can find a network of trails in the surrounding Yaak Area. The Northwest Peaks Scenic Area, located in the northwest corner of the Yaak Area, offers a variety of hiking trails in beautiful settings. Hunting is also possible nearby. Wild berries grow in the area, inviting berry pickers.
Facilities: This 144 square foot lookout cabin sits atop a 26-foot tower and is encircled by a catwalk. It can accommodate 4 people and comes equipped with 2 beds and 2 mattresses, a table, 2 chairs, a broom, and a dustpan. Propane appliances are provided that include a cookstove and heater. An outhouse with a pit toilet is located nearby. The lookout does not have electricity or water. Guests must provide their own water for drinking, cooking, and washing. Items such as cooking gear, bedding, lanterns or flashlights, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, and towels are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving. Open season end of June.
Nearby Attractions: Yaak Falls is a popular destination just a short drive from the lookout off Yaak Highway 508. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit when the snowmelt finds its way over the falls.
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
From Troy Montana, follow Highway 2 West for 9.5 miles to Yaak Highway 508. Follow Yaak Highway 508 for 18 miles north to Meadow Creek Road 524. Follow Road 524 1 mile to the junction with Road 745. Take road 745 approximately 4 miles to Baldy Mountain Lookout Road 591. Follow 591 for approximately 2 miles to Road 5954. Take Road 5954 to the lookout.
Courtesy of USDA Forest Service
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