Fivemile Butte Lookout

Area Status: Open

Fivemile Butte LookoutPonderosa pines, Douglas-fir and western hemlock provide a dense canopy over the mountainside, shading numerous creeks and providing a lush and varied habitat at Fivemile Butte. While hiking the many trails, be sure to have binoculars on hand and watch for golden eagles, wild turkeys, grouse and the brilliant blue flash of camp robbers, common nickname for stellar’s jays. Other wildlife, such as elk, deer, coyote, cougars, and bears frequent the area and visit the nearby creeks for a drink or a meal.  

The cabin is atop a 40 foot tower and is surrounded by a wooden catwalk. The 14 x 14 foot room is furnished with a small, single bed, a wood stove for heating, and a table and chair, and is equipped with a propane cook stove and a solar lighting system. There is no water on site; visitors must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing. An outhouse is located near by, as well as a shed stocked with firewood. A rope and pulley system is available to transport gear, as well as firewood, up and down the tower with ease. There is also a fire ring for campfires and barbecuing on site.

  • Availability: Fivemile Butte is available for rent year-round.
  • Price and Capacity: $85 per night per group as of 10/1/2023 with a maximum of four occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the lookout.


The original lookout was established by the Forest Service in the 1920s, and was just a small cab on a 30 foot pole tower. In 1932 a standard L-4 lookout was built to replace the earlier lookout, but was destroyed by heavy snow in 1942. A non-typical L-4 replacement was rebuilt. In 1957 it was replace by the present R-6 Flat Top style lookout.

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At a Glance

Reservations: Visit or call 877-444-6777 to make a reservation up to 6 months in advance. The maximum length of stay is 7 consecutive nights.
Fees: Reservations cost $85/night beginning October 1, 2023.
Open Season: Open year-round.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Dufur, OR
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Barlow Ranger District: (541) 467-2291

General Information


Head west out of Dufur on Dufur Valley Road about 18 miles to the junction of FSR 44 and 4430 at Billy Bob Sno-Park (the road may be plowed to the Sno-Park). Follow FSR 44 to the junction of FSR 4430 and turn right on to FSR 4430-120, then turn left and follow to spur road 122. There is a gate that you will have to unlock (in winter months the gate is left open), then follow the 122 road to the end. The route is approximately 3 miles and is marked with orange and blue diamond shaped blazers. This route is not plowed, signed or patrolled.

General Notes:
  • No smoking
  • Pets are welcome
  • There is an additional space for tent camping
  • FS Road 44 & 4430 will be closed to vehicles over 48" wide from December 1st through April 1st. When road is not accessible to lookout you will be able to park at Billy Bob Sno-Park (recreation pass required Novemeber 1st through April 30th).


  • Outhouse
  • Wood stove
  • Propane stove
  • Solar lighting

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Cabin Rentals

In the summer months, enjoy hiking and mountain biking and the gorgeous view. The lookout is near Eightmile Creek (the pioneer wagon road crossed the creek about eight miles from The Dalles). Eightmile Trail (area is unavailable)(which ties into the Bottle Prairie Trail for a short distance) travels through and around a riparian area, old clear-cut, dense second growth, and old growth Ponderosa Pine, and features views and wildflowers.

Winter sport activities include skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Day Hiking

Horse Riding

Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Scenery



Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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