The Mount Baldy - Buckhorn Ridge Lookout sits at an elevation of 6,529 feet in the Kootenai National Forest. This location has been used as an observation point for detecting forest fires since 1910. The current lookout tower was built in 1957.
The lookout is typically available from late June through late September, and is accessible by car, though high clearance vehicles are recommended for the primitive roads. Some creature comforts are provided, but guests should be prepared to pack in many of their own amenities.
Aside from exploring Mount Baldy, hikers can find a network of trails in the surrounding Yaak Area. The Northwest Peaks Scenic Area, located in the northwest corner of the Yaak Area, offers a variety of hiking trails in beautiful settings.
Hunting is also possible nearby. Wild berries grow in the area, inviting berry pickers.
This 144 square foot lookout cabin sits atop a 26-foot tower and is encircled by a catwalk. It can accommodate 4 people and comes equipped with 1 bunk bed and 3 mattresses, a table, 2 chairs, broom and dustpan. Propane appliances are provided that include a cook stove, heater and refrigerator. An outhouse with pit toilet is located nearby.
The lookout does not have electricity or water. Guests must provide their own water for drinking, cooking and washing.
Items such as cooking gear, bedding, lanterns or flashlights, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, and towels are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving.
The lookout offers views of the Kaniksu National Forest in Idaho, the Cabinet Mountain Range and Rock Candy Mountain. The panorama features endless mountain peaks and evergreen forest. Guests have an ideal location for watching sunrises and sunsets, or for gazing out over the starry night skies.
Kootenai National Forest supports populations of deer, elk, moose, grizzly and black bears, wolves and mountain lions (bear safety). A variety of smaller mammals and birds can also be found.
Yaak Falls is a popular destination just a short drive from the lookout off Yaak Highway 508. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit, when the snowmelt finds its way over the falls.
ADA Access: N
You can drive right up to the base of the fire tower and then do day hikes from the summit (or hike up in winter). The views in all directions are amazing. We didn’t go to bed for hours because of stargazing. Pros: backcountry camping but not in a tent, bunkbeds, table, stove, outhouse, wildlife, wildberries, hiking, incredible views. Cons: no water (bring filters/chems).
About a 6 mile hike in to hidden lake, camp on the outskirts but if you want seclusion you will find it here. Rocky terrain but water is not short here and it will be found in the bright green foliage jetting from the mountain sides, Spring water, also berry picking is here which means predators so come prepared, bear and wolf sign. The view is amazing!! With view of the 3 sister mountains from the crest, Its like Eden.