Little Guard Lookout

Photo of Little Guard Lookout after a snowstorm

Little Guard Lookout, located about 9 miles north of Shoshone Camp, was one of the last remaining fire lookouts used in the Coeur d'Alene River area and has only just recently become inactive. The structure standing today on Little Guard Peak is the third in a series of lookout buildings that originated back to 1919. In October 1990, Little Guard Lookout was accepted for listing in the National Historic Lookout Register and the first for Idaho.

Natural Features:  At an elevation of 6,031 feet, the lookout boasts spectacular views overlooking the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River and the Bitterroot Mountains, with views of nearby Downey Peak to the northwest. Wildlife in the area includes mule deer, moose, osprey and calliope hummingbirds.

Recreation:  Hiking is a great way to explore and take in the scenery of the grand mountains. The lookout provides access to the Shoshone Ridge Trail #81, a very nice day hike for visitors to the lookout. The trail provides many scenic viewpoints, but there is no source of water along the way, so hikers must bring plenty of their own.

Facilities:  The fully furnished two-story fire lookout has dimensions of 14 x 14 feet, an external cat walk, and a gabled roof. It sleeps four guests, with one single bed and three fold-up cots available. Quarters are tight and at least two cots will need to be set up downstairs in the kitchen area. The kitchen is on the ground floor and is equipped with a small propane refrigerator, propane cook stove, table, chairs and basic cooking utensils. Propane for the stove and refrigerator is also provided. The outdoor pit toilet is within 200 feet of the lookout. It comes with biodegradable toilet paper. Other amenities include a propane heater upstairs and propane lanterns, but renters will need to bring their own propane for these. No water or electricity is available. Visitors should bring plenty of water. A mountain spring is within a half-mile by footpath, and can be boiled and treated for consumption. In addition to water, guests should bring food, propane for lanterns and heater, matches or lighters, warm clothing, garbage bags, insect repellent, towels and washcloths, toiletries, dish soap, and a first aid kit. Air mattresses or sleeping pads are also recommended.

Photo of Little Guard Lookout after a snowstorm Photo of Little Guard Lookout information Photo of Little Guard Lookout kitchen Photo of Little Guard Lookout outhouse

At a Glance

Current Conditions: No drinking water; please bring plenty for drinking and cooking; Please bring garbage bags; this is a Pack in - Pack out facility; Paper materials may be burned when no fire restrictions are in effect; Children under age 7 are discouraged due to the height of the lookout; Cabinets in cabin are rodent resistant and should be used for food storage; Please clean up the lookout and pack out all waste; No smoking allowed in lookout; While pets are not allowed inside our recreation rentals, they are welcome to be on site and must be on a leash while in the area of the facility. Please clean up after pets and place pet waste outside cabin vicinity.
Operational Hours: Rental period begins at 1:00 p.m. on your check-in day and ends at 12:00 p.m. on the checkout day.
Reservations:  Reservations can be made at  Reservations must be made 4 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance.
Fees: $55 per night
Open Season: July - mid-September
Restrictions: Capacity of 4 people. No tent or RV camping allowed; all visitors must sleep in the cabin. Dogs are not allowed in any of our cabins, lookouts or historic recreation areas that are available for reservation.
Closest Towns: Kingston, Idaho
Water: None.
Restroom: Pit Toilet
Information Center: A combination is needed to access the lookout Propane is provided for the stove and refrigerator. Propane is not provided for the propane heater that is located in the kitchen area. If you wish to use this propane heater you’ll need to bring a 5 or 7.5 gallon propane tank (such as those typically used for BBQs). You will also need to bring small propane bottles to use in the propane lanterns for lighting, as these are not provided. A wood stove has been installed for heat on the top floor. Some firewood is available for your use. Not knowing how long this supply of wood will last, it is advisable to bring extra firewood (the stove burns 15” long firewood).

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
47.80278, -116.00944
47°48'10"N, 116°0'34"W

From I-90, take Exit #43 (Kingston) and drive 24 miles north on Forest Highway 9 to Prichard junction. From there, continue on Forest Road 208 for about 5 miles to Forest Road 602 (on the right just past Shoshone Base Camp). Drive about 9 miles to the lookout at the end of the road. Vehicles with high clearance and good tires are strongly recommended.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Cabin Rentals

Day Hiking

There is access to Shoshone Ridge Trail #81and open ridge tops.

Viewing Scenery

Little Guard Lookout offers spectacular views of the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River and the Bitterroot Mountains.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6001 feet