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Built in 1962, the Clear Lake Butte Lookout is ideally situated between Mount Hood to the north and Mount Jefferson to the south.  The lookout also peers over Clear Lake, Timothy Lake and deep into the expanse of Eastern Oregon.  If you are lucky enough to get a reservation in this heavily used winter accommodation, you’ll get some of the best views in the area. 

The snowshoe or ski to the tower is short, but it is steep enough to encourage packing a light load. The route up from Forest Road 42 is sometimes groomed by the Mount Hood Snowmobile Club, which makes it easier to commute with a loaded pack. If you are choosing skis over snowshoes, the descent for your return is a quick thrill that asks for some advanced skills in some spots. Please refer to the Clear Lake Butte Lookout ski adventure for more information.

The tower sleeps four, has a wood stove for heat, and a small range for food preparation. The wood shed is near the base of the tower stairs, and it is common courtesy to leave cut wood on hand for the next guest. The station lists solar lighting as a possibility, but bring plenty of light just in case. An outhouse located just east of the tower completes the accommodation’s amenities. There is no running water, and guests may also want to bring sheets. If you have a party that is larger than four, there is plenty of additional space for tents around the base of the tower.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)

Open Year-round

No

Open from

November 01 to May 31

Price per night

$1-70/night

Pros

Fantastic views. Historic accommodation. Easy/moderate access.

Cons

Difficult to obtain reservations. Steep access in sections.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

Mount Hood National Forest

Features

Wood stove
Firewood provided
Kitchen

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Skyline Sno-Park to Clear Lake Butte Lookout
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

03/31/2016
Another beautiful Oregon lookout. Incredible views of Mt. Hood to the north and Mt. Jefferson to the south.
We were looking forward to our snowshoe adventure to the lookout for three wonderful nights but, due to the lack of snow, we were able to drive on up. There's nothing like staying in a lookout tower! This one even has electricity!
06/26/2016
We decided to take in the views from the lookout tower during the summertime while camping nearby at clear lake. We did a sunrise hike leaving the gated road at 5 am making it to the tower in about 45-60 minutes. While we weren't able to access the topside of the tower (locked and not available to rent during summer) we could still climb the stairs and see Hood, Jefferson and the surrounding lakes. Lots of beautiful flowers along the way.
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