Cabin & Lookout Rental How-To's
One of the unique recreation experiences we have here is the opportunity to rent some of our historic fire lookout towers and backcountry cabins. These rustic cabins and lookouts are often located in remote, yet spectacular settings. We invite you to experience one of this region's "hidden treasures!"
Enjoy your stay!
HOW TO RENT A CABIN OR FIRE TOWER LOOKOUT
Recreation cabins and lookouts in the National Forests of the Northern Region are rented on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are made through the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) at the Recreation.gov site. The daily rental rate for each cabin or lookout is listed in the directory. Reservations can be made with a major credit card.
To make a Cabin or Fire Lookout Tower Rental Reservation,
you can either:
Check on availability and reserve over the Internet at Recreation.gov,
7 days a week, 24 hours/day.
Check availability and reserve toll-free over the phone
at 1 (877) 444-6777, or International (518) 885-3639.
There is a reservation fee in addition to the cabin or lookout rental fee. You can cancel or change your reservation (an additional fee is charged) by calling Recreation.gov at the toll-free number of 1 (877) 444-6777. Please read the Reservation Policies for all details about canceling early, no-shows, early departures fees on this page.
If you are using the Recreation.gov site, you can go to the cabin or lookout of your choice, click on the Book Now button (you can always back out without booking a reservation) and fill in the blanks to check the cabin's availability on your preferred dates.
Once payment is made for your reservation, you will receive a confirmation letter. The confirmation letter will have a confirmation number, plus other important information you will need. You must have your confirmation letter with you during your stay.
Make sure you contact the local Forest Service office during office hours for keys and/or gate lock numbers ahead of time. If you have any questions, or need more information to help with trip planning, feel free to contact the Ranger District office listed for the cabin or lookout you are interested in. Additionally, some cabins or lookouts may be available on a “last minute, walk-in” basis (i.e., 1-4 days prior to a requested date). You can contact the local Ranger District office to check on availability and, if available, reserve directly with that local office.
The most popular cabins (for instance Red Ives on the St. Joe Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forest and the Hogback Cabin on the Missoula Ranger District, Lolo National Forest) may not be included on the reservation system. They may be available through local lotteries. Some may be closed due to repairs or refurbishing in a given summer. Contact the local Ranger District office for more information.
Note: Unauthorized use of these cabins and lookouts is a violation of both State and Federal laws and regulations. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. Violations should be reported immediately to a Forest Service officer. Be certain to have your confirmation letter with you while using the cabin or lookout.