Lookouts - Overnight Use

Snow blocks access to our lookouts until mid- to late summer. Some are rented or staffed with volunteers who have exclusive overnight occupancy. Lookouts that are not staffed or available for rental are available to visitors on a first-come first-serve basis. For more information check with your nearest ranger district office or online at www.recreation.gov.

Tips for overnight use

  • Bring sleeping bags, food, water, lanterns and fuel. Winchester Lookout furnishes a propane stove. Parties of more than two people will need extra sleeping pads at all lookouts except Hidden Lake, which has extra pads under the beds. Bring a tent in case your destination lookout is already occupied by others.
  • Two nights are the recommended maximum stay.
  • Detailed instructions for shelter operation, lookout facilities, water sources and toilet locations can be found posted inside each building.
  • Move gasoline stoves and laterns outside the building to fill and start them.
  • The lookouts are prone to rodents, so please take precautions to keep the lookout clean and store food in the rodent-proof containers provided.
  • Pack out all garbage.
  • Toilets may be available at some lookouts. If not, please pack it out.
  • Replenish any supplies you use or send a donation to the organization responsible for the maintenance of the lookout.
  • Volunteer work parties have priority at lookout shelters. A notice will be posted at the trailhead if a work party will be present. Two or three work party weekends are held per year at each lookout.