You are here

Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Hager Mountain is one of many fire lookouts managed by the Forest Service, but it is one of the few that is still manned by fire tower operators in the summer months. Located in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Hager Mountain Fire Lookout is perched at 7,195 feet atop an 8 million-year-old dome of volcanic rock. The elevation of the lookout makes for amazing 360-degree views that encompasses Mount Hood to the north and Mount Shasta to the south. 

Hager Mountain is equipped with a small bed and a bunk bed, so the lookout can accommodate up to 4 people. In addition, there is a wood stove, a propane heater and lights, and a small refrigerator. There are a few kitchen items, but you should bring everything you need to ensure a comfortable stay. There is no water source at Hager Mountain, so be sure to pack in what you will need. Because this lookout is built on the ground, this is a good lookout for family adventures. It's a bit safer for children and pets as it's not swaying in the wind 40 feet in the air.

Depending on the time of year, the trail to Hager Mountain can be anywhere from a mile to 4 miles of hiking, skiing or snowshoeing. It's best to call the Silver Lake Ranger Station at 541.576.2107 to get updated conditions at Pole Butte Sno-Park to determine the best method of access. Weather conditions can change quickly in this area, and it's important to be prepared for heavy winds and winter storms.

Seeing as you'll be in the area, it's worth making the time to eat the the infamous Cowboy Dinner Tree. They are only open on the weekends, and you need to make reservations. After a night or two on the butte you'll be ready for a true cowboy cut of 30-ounce top sirloin steak or a whole roasted chicken.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

No

Open from

November 15 to May 15

Price per night

$1-70/night

Pros

Amazing views. Great stargazing. Solitude.

Cons

Steep and potentially long approach.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

Forest Service

Address

Unnamed Road
Silver Lake, OR 97638
United States

Features

Wood stove
Firewood provided
Kitchen

Location

Field Guide

Comments

04/07/2019
I did Hager Mtn Jan 6-8, 2019. We prepared for the worst weather possible, debated on whether to use skis or snowshoes, whether bringing a sled or just multi-day packs, extra wood or water...

We encountered the worst weather possible, 60+mph winds, and whiteout conditions above treeline.

I'll start with snow gear: we chose snowshoes over skis and I'm glad we did due to many downed trees that would've required circumventing along the trail. Snowshoeing, while slow and steady, proved best for traction and control in potentially dangerous conditions.

We decided against the sled which proved to be another good choice as once above treeline, the incline is ridiculous in fresh pow. I had a 20 min lead on my team and upon leaving treeline, breaking trail on the incline allowed for them to catch up to me; a sled would've made things worse.

Do not bring wood unless there is a government shutdown; there is a well-stocked woodshed. In the winter, melt snow to make cooking/ drinking water with the large pot. The wood burning stove is a morale booster and works very well.

Single bed and a bunk make it comfortable for three but a forth could sleep on a sleeping pad on the floor or long desk.

We each had 35-40lb packs; while that's not too heavy, breaking trail in 2+ feet of fresh blowing snow can prove difficult. I wish I had brought extra baskets for my poles; a downed tree branch took it below treeline and the sinking trekking pole was annoying.

Overall the hike wasn't bad. However, before you go, especially in the winter, download a map/ trail route to your phone or watch to reference on the trail. Due to the whiteout conditions, we didn't see the lookout until we were about 200 feet away from it. The blue diamonds that mark the trail aren't always visible. This will save you a lot of heartaches when it comes to being exposed and beaten up by the wind and snow.

Bottom line, even given the same austere weather conditions, I'd go back in a heartbeat. The second day, the clouds broke and we were able to enjoy the sunrise and grgeous views from the top.
03/08/2017
I stayed at Hager last weekend. Had very stormy weather upon arrival (white out conditions with intense winds that caused us to lose the trail coming out of the tree line but we just kept going "up") and sunny warm weather upon leaving. Your field guide on here doesn't provide any information you cant get on the rental website itself. It would be nice if there was more information here like info about the hike- elevation of trailhead and elevation gain stats of the hike, detail on the trail, etc. I came to this website before the trip thinking there would be some good data and/or recent trip reports. I'm really questioning what Outdoor Project has to offer as a resource other than hyping locations. I think what would be really useful is a version of the Washington Trails Association for Oregon. Really trying to understand this outdoor project.
04/29/2016
Had a great night up at Hager Mountain Lookout! The sunset was amazing and the lookout was as cozy as ever.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.