Shissler Peak Fire Tower

Western Bitteroot + Clearwater Mountains, Idaho

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Shissler Peak Fire Tower

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  • Hiking through the burn zone on the way to Shissler Peak.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Wildflowers abound at the summit.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Excellent views downstream on the Selway River canyon.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Open views from near the Shissler Peak Fire Tower.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Excellent views upstream on the Selway River canyon- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Indian paintbrush near the Shissler Peak Fire Tower.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • It's possible to climb up the lookout.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Beginning the descent from the lookout.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • The trail runs along a ridge for much of the way.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Hikers descend back toward the Selway River.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
  • Bear grass grows in abundance along the trail.- Shissler Peak Fire Tower
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wildflowers. Excellent views. Fire lookout.
Cons: 
Difficult to reach. Rough trail. Steep hike.
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Region:
Western Bitteroot + Clearwater Mountains, ID
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
3,175.00 ft (967.74 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Horseback
Total Distance: 
7.44 mi (11.97 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,200.00 ft (670.56 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Deep in the middle of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Shissler Peak Fire Lookout is a challenging hike that climbs steeply up the side of the Moose Creek Valley near the confluence with the Selway River. Most often accessed by rafters and occasional backpackers, this lookout is staffed during only part of the year.

To reach the peak, you must first find your way to the confluence of Moose Creek and the Selway River, which is several miles from the nearest road. A pack trail does parallel the river, but rafting or kayaking on the world-class Selway River is most people's preferred method.

From the confluence, hikers will follow a narrow trail as it ascends up the northern side of the Moose Creek valley. As you climb, you will pass through a recent burn zone, where several trees have fallen across the trail. 

After climbing over 2,000 vertical feet and roughly 2.5 miles, hikers will reach a fork in the trail. Bear right to reach the lookout. The grade mellows after the split, and the views become truly spectacular as you are now on a semi-open ridgeline. The final push to the summit will be lined with wildflowers in mid-June.

The forest falls away at the top, and there are incredible views in every direction. The lookout is staffed full time during the summer months, but in late spring hikers will have the place to themselves. The lookout itself was built in 1953 to replace an older 1930s lookout. Enjoy the views and the solitude; your legs will appreciate the break.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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