West Fork Butte Lookout


West Fork Butte Cabin

The West Fork Butte Lookout rental, on the west side of the Lolo National Forest near the Idaho border, is a historic "14-foot by 14-foot" fire lookout cabin (on the ground) located on a rocky knob with expansive views of the Lolo Creek drainage, Lolo Peak, and the Bitterroot Mountains.

Kitchen of West Fork Butte Lookout Cabin Sleeping Area of West Fork Butte Lookout Cabin Propane shed and West Fork Butte Lookout Kitchen View of the West For Butte Lookout at Sunset View from the door of the West Fork Butte Lookout

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Check-in is at 3:00 p.m. and check-out is at 12:00 p.m.
Fees $30.00 per night. Visit recreation.gov to make reservations for this recreation area.
Open Season: January 1st - December 31st
Usage: Light
Restrictions: No tents. No smoking, no candles and no pets in the cabin. Please view our Visitor Guidelines.
Closest Towns: Lolo, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Outhouse
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Missoula Ranger District, 406-329-3814

General Information


From Lolo, Montana drive 17 miles west on U.S. Highway 12. Turn left (south) onto West Fork Butte Road # 37 (near the Earl Tennant Campground). Follow Forest Road #37 approximately 6.9 miles to the second junction. Take a sharp turn to the left (north). Look for the West Fork Butte Lookout road sign and gate. Follow the road to the lookout. Winter Access: The gate at the beginning of Forest Road #37 is closed during the winter and early spring to provide skiing and snowmobiling opportunities.

General Notes:

The cabin is equipped with a propane cooking stove, a wood stove, 4 metal bunk beds, broom/dust pan, dishes, utensils, pots, pans, and chairs. Bring your own bed linens/sleeping bag. We recommend that you bring your own lantern, lantern propane, matches/lighter, and cleaning supplies such as paper towels and cleaning spray. Please remember to clean the lookout when you leave. A lighter is useful to thaw the combination lock if frozen in winter. Firewood can be limited, so please conserve wood or bring your own.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW

Winter Sports

Hide detail HIDE

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

When staying at the cabin/lookout rental in the winter, visitors often bring their cross-country skis and or snowshoes for some wintertime fun.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate


Snowmobiling is primarily a means for reaching the lookout in the winter months, but there are many roads to explore while staying at the lookout. Consult the forest visitor map for details.
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6157 feet