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.

Fall Mountain Lookout Fall Mountain Lookout Fall Mountain Lookout

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 9/17/2020: The lookout is open. Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff.  We are following the guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
  • Be aware, this facility is not cleaned between user visits.
  • End-of-season dates are weather dependent and could close sooner if conditions permit.
To make reservations please visit:  www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. 
Reservations: The maximum length stay is fourteen consecutive days.  To make reservations call 1-877-444-6777 or visit Recreation.gov online.  Cell coverage is very good in and around the lookout.
Fees $40 per night per group, with a maximum of two occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the lookout.
Open Season: May 6 - October 31
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: John Day, OR
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)

General Information


From John Day, OR., travel approximately 15.5 miles south on US Highway 395. Turn right onto Forest Road 4920. Follow Forest Road 4920 approximately 5 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 607 and continue approximately 1 mile to the lookout. The last mile of road leading to the lookout is very rutted and becomes very muddy during spring, early summer and fall.  Higher clearance vehicles are recommended.

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


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


There is limited parking at the lookout.

Recreation Map

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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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