Bear Basin Butte Lookout / Pierson Cabin
Are you seeking solitude, awe-inspiring views, a quiet haven away from crowds, or perhaps you've wondered what life would be like for a fire spotter in the Forest Service? While fire lookouts may be passing into history, they remain objects of interest for many people, both for their beautiful locations and the mystique surrounding existence in a high and remote site. Now you have an opportunity to feel for yourself what it's like to live in a fire lookout. The Bear Basin Butte Lookout is situated high atop a narrow mountain ridge and offers a 360° view of the Siskiyou Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Six Rivers National Forest invites you to experience life at the top of Bear Basin Butte through rental of a historic fire lookout and a new 1930s style cabin.
See more photos by clicking on the Photos and Multimedia Link on the right sidebar.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||The cabin and lookout are closed October through June/July due to snow accumulations.|
|Operational Hours:||The cabin and lookout are rented as a pair from July 1 to September 30.|
|Reservations:||Reserve through Recreation.gov, 1-877-444-6777; TDD:1-877-833-6777; International: 1-518-885-3639. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance and up to six months in advance.|
|Fees:||$75 per night. Rate is for 1 to 8 persons; there is a fee of $5 per night for each additional person over 8, paid directly to the facility (usually when picking up the key). The maximum occupancy is 12 persons.
|Best Season:||July through September|
|Busiest Season:||June through September|
|Restrictions:||Pets are not allowed in the cabin or lookout.|
|Closest Towns:||Closest Towns: Gasquet, California and O'Brien, Oregon
Nearest gas: Hiouchi Hamlet, 31 miles Nearest grocery store: Crescent City, 40 miles; convenience store in Gasquet, 21.5 miles Nearest potable water: Patrick Creek Campground, 13 miles (summer) Panther Flat Campground, 18 miles (open all year) Nearest known pay telephone: Brookings, Oregon, 56 miles
Driving to Bear Basin Butte Lookout
Distance from Smith River NRA Visitor Center: 21.5 miles Driving time: approximately 1 hour
Directions from Smith River NRA Visitor Center, 10600 U.S. Highway 199, Gasquet, California 95543: DUE TO ROAD 17N05 (JAWBONE ROAD) BEING CLOSED FROM DAMAGE THIS WINTER, ALL ACCESS MUST BE OBTAINED VIA SOUTH FORK ROAD AND 16N02 OVER SHIP MOUNTAIN. THIS ROUTE ADDS ABOUT 1 HOUR TO COMMUTE (APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS,40 MILES ONE WAY) THIS IS THE ONLY ACCESS TO THIS FACILITY AT THIS TIME UNTIL THE ROAD CAN BE REPAIRED. 18 MILES OF THIS ROUTE IS NOT PAVED AND HAS AREAS OF WASHOUT. HIGH-CLEARANCE VECHILES OR 4X4 ADVISED.
This facility is extremely popular; reservations often fill as soon as they become available online, especially during the peak season (July through September).
Tips for getting a reservation:
Set up your account with Recreation.gov before you book.
Find out what time Recreation.gov opens for the day. They are on Eastern Time so you will have to convert to your time if you are not in that time zone.
Exactly six months before the first day of your desired stay just before Recreation.gov opens for the day go to the Recreation.gov Bear Basin Lookout and Cabin, CA “Date Range Availability” page. You may want to check a few days before to make sure you are booking on the right day. Keep refreshing the “Date Range Availability” screen until the first day of your desired stay shows as available. Only the first day of your stay has to be within the booking window--you may book an additional three days beyond that.
If the first day of your desired stay is already reserved it means that someone booked it a split second before you or it is the second, third, or fourth day of someone else’s stay that extended beyond the booking window.
If you don’t get your desired date(s), keep trying for other dates (assuming you are flexible). Check back frequently for cancellations.
Weekends are always more in demand—book during the week if you can.
Gravel parking lot--for a photo of the parking area see Photos & Multimedia link on right sidebar.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information