Bolan Mountain Lookout

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

ALERT: The RRSNF is saddened to report the total loss of Bolan Lookout during the 2020 Slater Fire. The RRSNF will explore options to rebuild and will provide updates as they become available.

Bolan mtn lookout


Bolan Mountain Lookout is a house of glass, with windows on all sides, and is surrounded by the sheer drop-offs of sharp cliffs of the rugged crest of the Siskiyou Mountains. Take in the breathtaking views of the Red Buttes and Siskiyou Wilderness areas, Preston Peak, and Bolan Lake. To the north and west are far views of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and the Illinois River Valley. On a clear day, even Mount Shasta is visible to the southeast. And on a clear night, enjoy the dazzling display of stars and planets. Experience a silence that is hard to come by in today's world of modernity and hustle and bustle.

The cabin is small, just 14 x 14 feet, and is designed to house only one or two people comfortably, and offers a primitive camping experience. It is equipped with a table, two chairs, a two-person sleeping platform, a footstool, broom and fire extinguisher. There is no water available, so be sure to pack in water for drinking, cooking and washing. Visitors must also provide their own sleeping pads, camp stove, cookware, dishes and utensils. An outhouse is located near the lookout. While this lookout is not located on a tower, visitors must park below the lookout, and walk up a series of primitive stone steps to reach the lookout.

  • Availability: Bolan Mountain Lookout is available for rent during the snow-free season, generally from July 12 to September 30.
  • Price and Capacity: $65 per night per group, with a maximum of four occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of this historic lookout.
    • Because of the steep cliffs at this site, and precipitous drop-offs, this rental is not recommended for families with toddlers or young children.
  • Reservations: The maximum length stay is five consecutive nights. Call (877) 444-6777 or visit


The original lookout, a "D-6" cupola-style lookout (such as those that still exist on the Rogue River-Siskiyou Nationa Forest’s Dutchman Peak and Hershberger Mountain), was constructed in 1925. The present structure, an L-4 style lookout, was constructed in 1953. Bolan Mountain Lookout is one of the last L-4-style lookouts that were popular during the 1930s, with few remaining in existance.

Bolan Mountain Lookout3 Bolan Mountain Lookout2 Bolan Mountain Lookout

At a Glance

Reservations:  Reservations can be made at, or by calling (877) 444-6777.
Fees $65 per night per group, with a maximum of four occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of this historic lookout.
Open Season: Summer - Fall
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns:
  • Cave Junction, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
  • Medford, OR
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Outhouse
Information Center: Wild Rivers Ranger District

General Information


From Cave Junction, OR, travel south on Highway 199 6.4 miles to the Happy Camp Road. Turn left and travel 17.3 miles on Forest Road 46 / Happy Camp Road to the junction with Forest Road 4812. Turn left and travel 4.1 miles to the junction of Forest Road 4812-040, the road to Bolan Lake Campground. Turn left again, and travel 1.1 miles to Forest Road 535. Turn right and travel 1.6 miles to the lookout. Forest Road 535 is gated. The lookout can be accessed by passenger car, but a high clearance vehicle is recommended. Early summer access can be hampered by late season snow pack. Parking is just below the lookout. The 30 to 40 steps up to the lookout are steep and uneven.

General Notes:
  • No smoking
  • Pets are welcome


  • Outhouse

Resource Concerns

  • Port-Orford-cedar root disease is a resource concern in southwest Oregon. The disease can be transported through mud or dirt on vehicles. Visitors must wash their vehicles, including the undercarriage, before entering National Forest lands.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Cabin Rentals

Hike down the Bolan Lake Trail #1245 to Bolan Lake, stocked with trout, and enjoy a day of fishing (non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake) and picnicking. The lookout is also a prime spot for nature and scenic photography, as well as astronomy.

Reservation Info This site can be reserved by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or on-line at
Areas & Activities


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