Every Lookout in Oregon

Bone Point

Type: 30′ steel tower
Status: Abandoned
Elevation: 4,527 feet
Visited: June 12, 2016

The FFLA Conference ended on Saturday, and on Sunday I began the long drive back to Portland. I decided to head home via Highway 395, which turned out to be a very scenic route. Along the way I visited Bone Point. Looking at the topo map there are a maze of roads in this area and it’s not immediately clear which is the correct route to the lookout. The correct way is to pick up Road 3963 a few miles past Dale, drive about 5.1 miles, then take Road 060 to the summit. I didn’t see any signs for 060; I only knew I was there because I was watching my GPS.

It’s approximately a mile of driving on 060 to reach the summit. I only made it about 0.2mi before I had to stop because the road got too rough. There was a big, squishy, tire-sucking mudpuddle…

Mud puddle

…and deep ruts. There was a stretch of road that was VERY rutted from when drivers punched their way through during muddier times and created deep trenches that have dried into permanent ruts.


I wasn’t sure my Outback could make it through and since the GPS said I was less than a mile from the summit I parked and walked the rest of the way.


It actually turned out to be a very pleasant walk through the ponderosa pines and the wildflowers:



Some idiots decided to cut through the meadow just below the summit, for reasons I can’t begin to imagine:


Then I reached the summit and the lookout:

Bone Point Lookout

Bone Point Lookout

The lookout isn’t staffed anymore, although it was pressed into service in August 2003 during a period of heavy lightning, even though it had not been regularly staffed in many years. It was staffed on a day to day basis by a district employee, although the tower cab was in no shape to live in. I had the place to myself during my visit. It was very pretty, with lots of wildflowers blooming and very nice views. This is looking down into the valley of the John Day River:

View from Bone Point

Looking south (Dixie Butte on the left; Strawberry Mountain on the right):

View from Bone Point

Looking northeast:

View from Bone Point

Looking west:

View from Bone Point

The outhouse has seen better days:


On the drive up I had noticed a bunch of pink wildflowers growing along Road 3963. On the way down I stopped to photograph them. I later learned these are called Ragged Robin:

Ragged Robin