Malheur National Forest
Abandoned; Currently standing
Estimated drive time from Portland, OR.
May 30, 2021
National Historic Lookout Register.
My partner had found Craft Point through Rex’s Fire Lookout site, which lead to a Geocache that provided some direction on how to get there. We were already camping in the area for a visit to Calamity Butte and King Mountain with my partner’s dad. Based on the directions, we followed NF-28 to NF-2815 heading east to NF-046. We parked in a pull out near where the road was blocked off by larger rocks. Unfortunately, I don’t recall much about the road conditions since we were in the truck. But, I’m inclined to believe it was passable with caution to most vehicles. From where we parked, the directions get a bit loosey-goosey and becomes more of a chose your own adventure. We essentially cut into the forest from the road directly towards the ridge line above until we met up with the fence line. We turned right at the fence and followed it along the ridge. A few times we had to cross over the fence to stay safely on the ridge. We came to an exposed rocky section that no longer followed the fence. Here it was unclear which side of the ridge to stay on to best access the higher point. I was ready to call it quits, but my partner wanted to continue on. His dad and I sat in the shade while he explored on ahead. He returned a short while after exclaiming that he had found it. We followed him to the left side of the ridge that skirted below some larger rocks. Eventually, we met up with an old game trail that took us directly to the summit. The last portion of the trail was steep and headed directly up the slope. We enjoyed lunch on the summit. Getting back to the car was a bit easier since we just had to retrace our steps as best as possible.
Craft Point was built in 1930 as a 15′ pole platform tower. The site was never upgraded to a more substantial structure and was abandoned in the 1940s. It’s possible it was used during emergencies, but there is little to no information online about it. It has fallen into a state of disrepair but still stands.