Henkle Butte L.O.

Oregon Lookouts


Deschutes County


Fire Detection Camera; Currently standing

Estimated drive time from Portland, OR.

3 hours

Date visited.

October 9, 2021



National Historic Lookout Register.

US 915, OR 119

Henkle Butte is a lookout ran by the Oregon Department of Forestry and staffed every summer. It sits on top of a butte that overlooks expensive neighborhoods in Deschutes County. The tower isn’t accessible to the public but can be viewed from the road. It’s listed on geocache and peak bagger sites, but it’s unclear if the summit is accessible to the public. Be aware a lot of this area is private property and posted signs should be respected.


Henkle Butte received its name from a competition. The commander stationed at Camp Polk offered a prize to the soldier that could make the quickest trek to and from the butte. It was around two miles northeast from the camp. The butte was named after the winner, Jeremiah F. Henkle. He was stationed at Camp Polk during the winter of 1865-1866. It is commonly mislabeled as Hinkle Butte. The first live-in fire tower wasn’t built until 1943. It was constructed from recycled material by the CCC as a 42′ tower with a 14×14 L-4 cab. The current structure was built in 1961 as a 3-story enclosed ODF cab.