Arid Peak Lookout

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Photo of Arid Peak LookoutArid Peak Lookout is set on a 20 foot tower and overlooks the beautiful Loop Creek area and the scenic "Route of the Hiawatha rail-trail". It is on the National Historic Register of Fire Lookouts.

Getting to the lookout requires a moderate 3 mile hike. Furnishings include two cots with mattresses, basic cooking gear, dishes, propane lantern, propane campsotve, water containers, table with two chairs, replica fire finder, and a wood stove. There is an outhouse near the lookout. The lookout is not recommended for small children.

History: Arid Peak Lookout was built in 1934 to provide early detection of fires potentially sparked by the Milwaukee Railroad line. It was last staffed in 1969 and sat idle for over 25 years. With a partnership of over 30 volunteers, the Forest Fire Lookout Association and the U.S. Forest Service, Arid Peak Lookout was restored to it's original splendor in 1996 and 1997.

Related links: Forest Fire Lookout Association, Arid Peak Lookout on the National Historic Lookout Register

At a Glance

Fees $25 per night minimum
Closest Towns: Wallace, Idaho
Restroom: Outhouse
Operated By: This site is part of NRRS. Reserve units by calling NRRS at 1-877-444-6777 or visit the website at

General Information


From the town of Avery turn left and head north up the North Fork of the St. Joe River Road No. 456 toward Wallace. Travel approximately 4.5 miles; then turn left down the hill just before the bridge across the river. You will then be on Road No. 1997 which is a single lane gravel road with pull outs. Travel approximately 3 1/2 miles and turn left on the first road (also labeled Road No. 1997). Travel approximately 6.5 miles to Trailhead No. 175. There is a turn-around just past the trailhead before the gate. Do not block the turnaround or the gate. You can park in the wide spot by the trailhead. Hike up Trail No. 175 approximately 1.5 miles to its junction with Trail No. 173. Turn right and hike approximately 1.5 miles on Trail No. 173 to Arid Peak.


Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Fire Danger Level: Low

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  Elevation : 
5306 feet