Clear Lake Butte

Type: 41′ tower with R-6 cabin
Status: Staffed in summer, rental in winter
Elevation: 4,458 feet
Visited: July 14, 2012

The lookout on Clear Lake Butte is one of four lookouts in the Mt. Hood National Forest that is still staffed in the summer. The road to the lookout is gated and it took about an hour to walk the two miles from the gate to the lookout.

Clear Lake Butte lookout

The woman in the lookout was named Carol and she invited me up. I met her sweet border collie, Abby. Carol was full of knowledge about lookout history and even had a binder with photos of many of the lookout towers that once stood in the Mt. Hood National Forest. As she showed me the pictures she pointed through the windows to the the spots where they stood. As a view-lover and history-lover I thought this was pretty amazing. She also showed me photos of a fallen tree that she found in the forest not far from the lookout tower and it had a bunch of metal pegs sticking out of its entire length. She thinks that it’s from the original crow’s nest lookout that used to be up here. She said this was her eighth summer staffing Clear Lake Butte.

The views are pretty amazing. Despite the cloudy day I could still see Mt. Hood and Clear Lake to the north.

Lookout tower view


Update: I returned here in March 2014 to stay overnight. Great fun!