Coos Bay, OR
Interpretive site; Currently standing
Estimated drive time from Portland, OR.
December 31, 2021
National Historic Lookout Register.
My partner and I decided to book a rental in Reedsport for the New Year and our 3-year anniversary. We chose Reedsport for it’s proximity to two lookouts along the coast. We figured we could end and start the year doing what we enjoyed most. We headed to Bunker Hill L.O. since we had some time to kill before checking into our rental. This will be our last lookout visit for the year! It’s located in the coastal town of Coos Bay at the Oregon Department of Forestry building. We were able to find it by following signs to the ODF building from HWY-101. Heading south on HWY-101 you will turn right on to Flanagan Road. You will stay on Flanagan Road until you reach Lookout Lane. Turn Left on to Lookout Lane. If you end up driving past Lookout Lane you can still get there by turning left on to Bay Park Lane and then another left on Fifth Road. The junction of Bay Park Lane and Fifth Road has an ODF sign. The buildings were closed for the holiday but we were still able to access the grounds and view the lookout from the parking lot. There is marked visitor parking just past the gate.
In 1937, a combination lookout and water tower were built for the ODF by the CCC of Camp Walker. A 7’x7′ lookout cab was built atop a 3,000 gallon 52′ water tank. This lookout tower was used by the Coos Fire Patrol until the 1950’s. It was also used briefly for air raid spotting during the war, but it was found that most spotting had been done from the ground. The combined lookout and water tower was dismantled in 1965. It wasn’t until 1996 that they decided to build a new lookout tower on Bunker Hill for training. The existing 12’x12′ lookout sits atop a 40′ steel tower next to the district headquarters. The steel tower used was donated by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is currently an interpretive site for visitors and listed on the National Historic Lookout Register. it’s labeled as the Coos Bay Lookout on the tower itself.
Bonus: We visited the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park to check out the lighthouse before heading to Bunker Hill L.O. It is ran by the U.S. Coast Guard and tours are offered through the museum. While parked we spotted another structure closer to the ocean that resembled a lookout. I’m sure it’s used by the U.S. Coast Guard for some sort of training but the base looked almost identical to Bunker Hill L.O.
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