Activity: Snowshoe or cross country ski
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Time: couple of hours each way
Season: December to April (booking season is a little longer)
Dog Friendly: Yes, the fire lookout is exposed and the stairs are steep…Jedi cried the first couple of times going up and down the stairs…so we had to drag and/or carry him. Eventually he got it.
Pros: You’re out in the middle of nowhere, snowshoeing, sledding, wood stove, 1 bed + 1 cot, some utensils provided, firewood provided, easy to navigate to
Cons: No electricity, no running water, going out to the vault toilet when it’s below freezing, shorter season due to lower elevation
To get to the fire lookout it’s a 3 mile hike along a road that begins across from the Billy Bob Sno-Park. The lookout sits at 4,627 feet and when it’s not cloudy there are some great mountain and forest views along the way.
As the hike is a solid three mile uphill trek we stopped for a couple of breaks along the way. In early December, when we went, there wasn’t a ton of snow, but it was definitely icy and we were happy we brought our Black Diamond Trekking Poles and MSR Snowshoes.
We made it!!! The lookout sits about 40 feet off the ground and has some pretty steep and narrow stairs. We were happy to have the wood stove because the temperature was dropping fast and we wanted to melt some snow to make warm drinks. My Sorel Pac Boots boots were super comfy and warm….no cold toes for me.
We spent most of the evening reading over the old guestbooks, chatting, and drinking spiked apple cider and hot cocoa. The lookout stayed toasty all night long and we all slept great.
We found a sled in the wood shed and had to get a couple of good runs in before we headed out for the day. The dogs were a little freaked out by it…but we had a great time!!!
Back at the Sno-Park we finished off the last of our hot chocolate…that was still piping hot after all of our sledding and the hike out. The dogs stayed toasty with their packs layered over their winter jackets and were rewarded for all of their hard work with some treats when we got back to the car.