Fivemile Butte L.O.

Oregon Lookouts


Mount Hood National Forest


Rental program; Currently standing

Estimated drive time from Portland, OR.

2 hours

Date visited.

October 16, 2021



National Historic Lookout Register.


Trip Report.

My partner already visited Fivemile Butte L.O. earlier this year with his dad. We decided to come back for the weekend since I still needed to check it off my list. We also wanted to see if we could locate some of the crow’s nests in the area. The best access for passenger vehicles is to take NF-44 to NF-4430 until you reach the gate on NF-122. Reminder to not block the gate and park near the road junction instead. From the gate, it is a short 1/2 mile road walk. The road is drivable but requires caution on some of the more rutted out portions. It can also be accessed via hiking trails if you are not comfortable driving. In the winter, you can access it via the Billy Bob Sno-Park. This lookout is part of the rental program and can be booked year-round. Fivemile Butte L.O. is very popular due to its easy access and proximity. There were renters there when we checked it out which was expected but a bit awkward. Make sure to respect their space and do not climb the stairs. We didn’t stay long except to take a few pictures before heading back to my car for lunch. We were surprised to find no other visitors on the summit since we had passed a full trailhead. I think I would have a hard time staying here with all the day hikers and traffic. I assume you would get less visitation in the winter months though.


The current lookout on Fivemile Butte was built in 1957 as a 14×14 R-6 flat roof cab atop a 40′ treated timber tower. It is furnished with a small bed, wood stove, propane cooking stove, table, chairs, and solar-powered lights. There is a vault toilet, storage shed full of firewood, picnic table, and fire ring on the summit as well. Everything else is on a pack it in, pack it out basis. The original lookout for this site was built in the 1920s. It was a 30′ pole tower with a small cab. It was replaced in 1932 by another 30′ tower with standard L-4 cab. This was later destroyed by heavy snow in 1942. The L-4 tower that replaced it untraditionally had a trap door inside the cab. I couldn’t find any information on when this lookout stopped being staffed and became part of the rental program.

Bonus pictures of our camp spot because we had a view of Flag Point L.O. on the ridgeline.

More Information.

US Forest Service

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