Type: Stone cupola cabin
Status: Maintained by volunteers
Elevation: 4,339 feet
Visited: October 5, 2013
After two weeks of awful rain we finally got a sunny weekend in northwest Oregon. Greg and I headed down to the Table Rock Wilderness to visit the lookout on Pechuck Mountain. The road that gets you very close to the lookout is closed to the public, so we parked at the Rooster Rock trailhead and hiked in.
The lookout on Pechuck Mountain is unusual because it was constructed from stone instead of wood. It is the only standing stone lookout in Oregon.
Anyone can stay in the lookout for free.
There is even a ladder for accessing the cupola.
The views are getting pretty overgrown now, but this is still a lovely spot.
From the four-way intersection in Mollala drive east on Highway 211 for 0.6 miles and turn right onto Mathias Road. Drive for 1.6 miles to a T junction and turn right onto Dickey Prairie Road. After 1.6 miles bear right to stay on Dickey Prairie Road. After 3.6 miles turn right to cross the river and follow this road as it curves left. Stay on this road for 12.8 miles. At the fork go right on Copper Creek Road. After half a mile turn left, and follow this road for 2.8 miles, staying left at a fork. Drive another 3.5 miles to the trailhead at road’s end.
From the trailhead it is about a 2.8 mile hike to the lookout.
A cabin was built here in 1918. It was replaced with a stone cupola lookout in 1932. According to the Cultural Property Inventory:
“Construction material for Pechuck Lookout was packed in by mule on the newly constructed South Fork Trail that ran along the Molalla River and then up Mining Iron Creek to the lookout. This was more direct and less steep than the Table Rock Trail making it easier to access the lookout. The lookout was built by John Oblack from Molalla, with the help of an unknown stone mason from Portland. The stone used to construct the lookout was quarried from a nearby source. By the 1950s, logging in the area had resulted in a road being constructed to the foot of the knoll making access to the lookout much easier. Kay Geyman of Salem was the last person to staff the lookout in 1964. After 1964 the lookout was no longer used for fire detection and was abandoned.”
The lookout was last staffed in 1964 and thereafter fell into serious disrepair.
“Over the years after its abandonment, the lookout was vandalized and neglected. The condition of the structure began to deteriorate, with the chimney collapsing, windows broken out, and the mortar between the stones crumbling. In 1991 a group of volunteers began restoration work on the lookout. The restoration work was completed in 1995. The BLM acquired the lookout in a land exchange in 1992.”
For more background and history on this lookout, check out this video: