Fivemile Butte Fire Lookout has all the charm of an isolated mountain cabin with the added perk of a lofty vista. Every wall of this 20x20 foot structure is framed with windows, so if the weather is clear you will enjoy a 360-degree view. From the top of the 40-foot tower you will see Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens come and go through the clouds to the north, the summit of Mount Hood looming a mere 10 miles west, and the fertile farmlands of eastern Oregon stretching out the east and southeast.
While the site offers no electricity, there is ample wood available in the adjacent woodshed and a stout little wood-burning stove to keep those of us who are cold-blooded toasty through the night. A sink (no running water) and a stove with a range and an oven round out the appliances, while a twin bed offers a soft place to sleep (do bring a clean sheet).
At one point Oregon claimed 852 fire lookouts, but that number has dwindled to 207, 106 of which are still used in summer to spot fires. Of Oregon’s lookouts, three are in Mount Hood National Forest and are available for rent: Fivemile Butte (available all year), Clear Lake, and Flag Point.