Fall Mountain Lookout

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Fall Mountain Lookout

As the afternoon slides into evening, gaze across the valley from your perch on the Fall Mountain Lookout. Watch as flashes of lightning cut jagged white lines through the dusky light. As quickly as it appears, the summer heat storm rolls away and the setting sun peaks beneath a blanket of clouds in a blaze of gold and orange. The next morning stand in the same spot and search the distance for any tails of smoke curling up between the timbers. Welcome to the life of a lookout.

This rustic one-room cabin, with windows all around is atop an 18-foot tower with a wooden catwalk. Unlike most lookouts, Fall Mountain Lookout is wired for electricity and is equipped with electric lights, heating, cook stove and refrigerator. It is furnished with a futon bed.

There is no water available on site; visitors must bring plenty of water for drinking, cooking and washing. A vault toilet is located near the lookout.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 09/05/2014/: Fall Mountain Lookout is open for the season. Reservations can be made 6 months in advance. To make reservations please visit <a href="http://www.recreation.gov/">Recreation.gov</a> or call 1-877-444-6777.  The last stretch of the road leading to the lookout is very rough and rutted, visitors should use caution on the last stretch of the road.
Reservations: The maximum length stay is fourteen consecutive days.  To make reservations call 1-877-444-6777 or visit Recreation.gov online.
Fees $40 per night per group, with a maximum of two occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the lookout.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: John Day, OR

General Information


From John Day, travel approximately 11 miles south on Highway 395 to Forest Service Road 3920. Follow the 3920 road to the junction with Forest Service Road 4920, turn right on 4920 road and travel less than 1/4 mile and turn right onto Forest Service Road 492067. Follow Forest Service Road 492067 approximately 1 mile to the lookout.

General Notes:
  • No smoking
  • Pets are welcome
  • There is no additional room for tent camping


  • Electricity
  • Electric lights
  • Refrigerator
  • Heater
  • Cook stove
  • Vault toilet

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Camping & Cabins

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Cabin Rentals

Enjoy a full 360 degree view that includes the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and the towns of Seneca and Mt.Vernon (in the distance). The lookout is located approximately 14 miles from the town of John Day, Oregon. Stunning sunrises and sunsets bracket the days. On clear nights gaze at the spectacular stars carpeting the black dome above. Experience an exciting and phenomenal light show provided by a summer thunder and lightning storm (but keep safety in mind at all times).

Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and 100-plus miles of hiking trails, or trout fishing on High Lake, are just a half hour drive away.

Nature Viewing

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