Cougar Peak Lookout

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Cougar Peak offers an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of early day Forest Service fire lookouts. The scenery is exceptional. It commands an impressive view of the river valley and the surrounding Cabinet Mountains. The "14-foot by 14-foot" lookout structure is small and rests on the ground (not elevated).

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District 406-826-3821, reservations at
Fees $30.00 per night. Visit to make reservations.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: No smoking in buildings. No garbage service is provided. No outside campfires permitted at the site.  Please view our Visitor Guidelines.
Closest Towns: Thompson Falls, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Outhouse
Information Center: Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District, 406-826-3821

General Information

Directions: From Thompson Falls, travel west on state highway 200. Turn right on the Blue Slide Road which is about a mile from Thompson Falls. Drive 9 miles along the Blue Side Road and turn right onto the Cougar Peak Road #403. Follow the road to the end. Lookout cabin sits on the ground near the end of Road #403. 150-foot walk to lookout.
General Notes: The "14-foot by 14-foot" lookout structure is small, but can accommodate two to four people. There is a single bed, a table and two chairs and a wood stove. No other furnishings are provided. Bring your own gas stove for cooking, all cooking, eating and washing utensils and implements as well as bathroom tissue, sleeping pads and cots. Pack out your own garbage. Firewood may be collected locally for the heating stove in the lookout. There is room nearby to set up a small tent if additional sleeping space is needed. Cougar Peak is within grizzly bear habitat. Visitors to the lookout and surrounding area need to be aware of the possibility of encountering a bear.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

Hide detail HIDE

Cabin Rentals

Enjoy the beautiful scenery from this lookout. Visitors should be prepared for cold and often wet or damp weather even if the weather in the valley is warm and dry because Cougar Peak is exposed to the extremes of weather. Come prepared and have fun!
Difficulty Level: Intermediate


Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6694 feet