Sweeping views of the Mission and Swan mountain ranges at an elevation of nearly 7,500 feet aided the U.S. Forest Service in early fire detection. From 1957 through 1967, Mineral Peak was a primary lookout point. Lolo National Forest Service staff…

In the early days of the U.S. Forest Service, pack animals carried critical supplies and equipment to crews fighting forest fires. In 1929, a severe fire season exhausted the supply of trained mules and skilled packers. Forced to use unbroken…

Unlike most fire lookout houses, which are typically placed on towers, the West Fork Butte Lookout sits directly on a rocky knob. The fourteen-by-fourteen hipped-roof structure features ribbons of nine-light windows, a testament to the building’s…

Pack mules provided the only access to this site in 1932, when U.S. Forest Service personnel constructed the Double Arrow Lookout. Built following the L-4 plan designed by Clyde Fickes, the structure overlooks the Clearwater River drainage from atop…

The U.S. Forest Service USFS moved the district headquarters for the Middle Fork drainage to Schafer Ranger Station in 1925. Schafer Creek was one of the few sites in a region noted for its rocky narrow canyons that had the water, building material,…