WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT, MT

West Fork Butte Lookout is an ideal place for guests to experience the mountains of southern Missoula from a unique vantage point. The facility provides near-360-degree views of the surrounding area. It is equipped with basic supplies and provides guests a base camp location by which...
Status: Open through Wed Dec 31 2014   Season Dates

Book a Campsite at WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT, MT

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Know Before You Go
  • Renters must contact the Missoula Ranger District office at 406-329-3814 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm) to receive the combination to the lookout.
  • Firewood can be limited; conserve wood or bring your own
  • This facility is located in a remote area; before making a reservation, become aware of bear, water and weather safety, including avalanche danger
  • The lookout remains locked; a week before your scheduled arrival, contact the Missoula Ranger District during office hours to obtain a key code
  • All garbage, food and personal belongings must be packed out
  • Pets are not allowed at this facility
  • Learn more about the Lolo National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.
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AREA WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT CABIN NONELECTRIC 4 0
Pets Allowed - no
Enter Date
Footnotes: (applicable only where specifically marked above)
** Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the campground.
*** Some sites may be available only from the campground on a first-come-first-served basis.
Photos
Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT Photo: WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT
Overview

Overview

West Fork Butte Lookout is an ideal place for guests to experience the mountains of southern Missoula from a unique vantage point. The facility provides near-360-degree views of the surrounding area. It is equipped with basic supplies and provides guests a base camp location by which to explore the area.

Access to the lookout is variable during the spring and fall. Guests may have to hike, ski or snowmobile about 8 miles to the facility. Summer availability is relatively short, depending on the fire season. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The 14-by-14' lookout is situated on a rocky knob with spectacular views of the surrounding area, including the back of Lolo Peak, the opposing Bitterroot Mountains and the Lolo Creek drainage. It is close to the Montana-Idaho border and Lolo Pass.

The surrounding forest contains a wide variety of trees, plants and wildlife. The area is home to mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, deer and grizzly and black bears. Both the bald and golden eagle reside in the forest, along with trumpeter swan, herons and dozens of varieties of ducks.

Recreation:

Hiking trails are available in the area. Visitors often bring cross-country skis or snowshoes for wintertime fun. Snowmobiles are often used to reach the lookout in the winter, but there are also many adjacent roads to explore while staying at the cabin.

Fishing is available in nearby Lolo Creek. The area is popular for trout and mountain whitefish. The creek is a short hike from the lookout.

Facilities:

The lookout can sleep up to four people and is equipped with metal bunkbeds and mattress pads. It also has a table and chairs, a propane cook stove, basic cooking and eating utensils and some pots and pans, as well as a wood stove for heat. Firewood can be gathered in the area surrounding the facility, but is not always available. A vault toilet is provided.

Guests should bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes. Bedding and towels, propane fuel canisters, flashlights, lanterns, matches, lighters, garbage bags, toilet paper and cleaning supplies are not supplied at the facility. The lookout will need to be cleaned before leaving.

Booking Window
Fri Apr 25 2014 - Fri Oct 24 2014

Reservations must be made 1 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 Month(s) in advance.

Season Dates

Season Schedule

Park Season Start End
Peak Wed Jan 01 2014 Wed Dec 31 2014
Services and Amenities
Within Facility
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Firewood
  • Hiking
  • Mattress Pad(s)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Propane Lantern (Fuel not provided)
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Stove
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
Fees and Cancellation Policies

Fees and Cancellation

Fee Information
Payment in full will be charged to your credit card upon completion of the reservation. A $9.00 non-refundable on line reservation fee may be charged for some facilities.

Payment Methods Accepted On-line:
Visa Mastercard Amex Discover UnionPay JCB

Changes and Cancellations
A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change or cancel your reservation. Late cancellations are subject to additional fees. For full details see NRRS Reservation Policy


Facility Rates*
Park Season Site Type Nightly/Daily Rates
Peak Season
Jan 01 2014 -
Dec 31 2014
CABIN NONELECTRIC $30.00

*Displayed rates do not reflect discounts, attribute fees (electrical hook-ups / water hook-ups), taxes or incremental charges
**Weekly rates may not be available for all sites
Getting There
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
46.73361, -114.40028
46°44'1"N, 114°24'1"W

From Missoula, travel south on Highway 93 to Lolo. Turn onto Highway 12 and continue west for 17 miles, following Lolo Creek to Earl Tenant Campground. Turn left onto West Fork Butte Road. Cross the concrete bridge over Lolo Creek and turn right. Follow Forest Road 37 for approximately 7 miles to the second intersection. Turn a sharp left and travel through the gate. Follow the road to the lookout.

The gate at Forest Road 37 is closed during the winter and early spring to provide skiing and snowmobiling opportunities. Visitors can park at the parking area, which is 100 feet west of the campground, and follow the route to the cabin. Maps are available online or for purchase by calling the Missoula Ranger District.
Contact Information

Mailing Address:

WEST FORK BUTTE LOOKOUT
BUILDING 24 FORT MISSOULA
MISSOULA MT 59804

Phone Number:

Information: (406)329-3814
Additional Information