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About Indian Ridge Lookout
The Indian Ridge Lookout sits at an elevation of 5,405 feet in the Willamette National Forest. Indian Ridge was named for the old Indian hunting trail that runs along the summit. Built in 1958, the lookout was used for firefighting by Forest Service personnel until 1973. The lookout is still staffed occasionally during emergencies. The lookout is accessible by car, although the access road is rocky. Guests must be prepared to climb steep, narrow steps up the 30-foot tower to access the lookouts cabin. The accommodations are primitive, so guests should be prepared to pack in most of their own supplies and gear. Natural Features: Views from the lookout include the Three Sisters, which are close and prominent to the northeast, along with views of the Cascade Crest both north and south. The Sand Mountain and Carpenter Mountain Lookouts are visible with binoculars. Hidden Lake is visible below the northern edge of mountaintop. The ridge is covered with open beargrass and huckleberries. Several rocky outcroppings are covered by wildflowers and mossy vegetation, depending on the season. Willamette National Forest offers prime habitat for such species as Roosevelt elk, black bear, northern bald eagles, mule deer and bobcats, among other wildlife. Recreation: From the lookouts perch above the tree line and far away from city lights, guests can enjoy spectacular night skies and star gazing. A trail on the ridge meanders through alpine trees and beargrass, allowing hikers to explore the mountaintop. Several other outbuildings and radio installations can beexplored near the tower. The French Pete Trail Area in the nearby Three Sisters Wilderness offers several miles of hiking. Cougar Reservoir and Hidden Lake are also in the vicinity, offering additional recreation options. Facilities: The 16x16-ft. cabin sleeps 4 and is equipped with 2 twin beds with foam mattresses, a table with chairs, broom, mop and storage shelves. An outhouse with vault toilet is located 50 feet from the lookout. No heat, electricity or water are available. Guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing, in addition to a heat source. Propane stoves and lanterns are recommended, since they create less fumes than liquid gas appliances. Items such as a cook stove, bedding, flashlights, dishes and cookware, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, towels and an ice chest are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving. Nearby Attractions: The Dee Wright Observatory is within easy driving distance. It is located at the summit of McKenzie Pass on McKenzie Highway, State Route 242. The Civilian ConservationCorps built the observatory from lava rock during the Great Depression. From the observatory, visitors can view and identify several Cascade Mountain peaks. A bronze "peak finder" is located at the top of the structure. Interpretive panels, located on the paved trail to the observatory, tell the story of early travelers and area geology. The Lava River Interpretive Trail is located next to the observatory, offering an unusual half-mile hike through young lava flows on a paved trail. ACTIVITIES Hiking Wildlife Viewing Fire Lookouts/cabins Overnight: Lookout Tower
Drive In
USDA Forest Service
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Indian Ridge Lookout is located in Oregon
44.006 N
-122.254 W
Get Directions
From Highway 126, travel south on Forest Service Road (FSR) 19 (Aufderheide Scenic Byway) to FSR 1980. Turn west on to FSR 1980 and travel to FSR 1980-247. Follow to the top where the road ends at the lookout. From Highway 58, turn at the Westfir junction, traveling north through Westfir (this road becomes FSR 19 or Aufderheide Scenic Byway) to FSR 1980. Turn west on to FSR 1980 and travel to Road 1980-247. Follow to the top where the road ends at the lookout.
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