Montana Outdoors

July 15, 2008

Bighole Lookout

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 8:19 pm

This old Lookout house is in the Lolo National Forest in western Montana’s Cabinet Mountains. It was built in 1930 and sits a quarter of a mile southeast of the summit of Bighole Peak on the cliff overlooking the “big hole” from which it got its name. It was abandoned in 1970 but still is in surprisingly good condition. Its elevation is 6,919 feet. It probably wasn’t a good post for anyone who might have been prone to sleepwalking.

Bighole Lookout cabin


  1. haha – sleepwalking from there – wonderful idea! It’s a beautiful place! I wouldn’t mind being in that post at all, or living there…


    Comment by Sumedh — July 16, 2008 @ 3:29 am

  2. That is a great place to spend a little time. I hike up there at least once every summer. There is another trail up there that goes across the top of some high ridges for about 7 miles through a roadless area toward the west. I’m hoping to travel it yet this summer.


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 7:12 am

  3. What a lovely place to “sleepwalk” I don’t think I would sleep for a week if I got to hike there Terry, great work !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 16, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  4. I’ll post some photos from Bighole peak itself a little later, Bernie. You’d love it up there! It takes work to get to these high areas, but the real hard part is deciding to come back down.


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  5. That cliff looks like a nice, fun, scenic, easy climb. Thanks for all the updates on your camping adventure.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — July 16, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

  6. What an amazing view!


    Comment by Tabbie — July 16, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  7. Scienceguy,

    I wouldn’t want to climb it myself. Too much loose rock there, I think, and there’s a pretty good way around it to the top.


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  8. Tabbie,

    I greatly enjoy the lookouts because, inherent in their chosen locations, are magnificent views of the surrounding forests. I don’t think I would want to man a lookout all summer, although maybe compared to other summer jobs it wouldn’t be all that bad.


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

  9. About 30 years ago a friend of ours was a forest ranger on a peak here in the Adirondacks. His wife and two little girls, age approx. 3 and 1, lived up on that mountaintop with him for the summer fire watch season. They back-packed their groceries, drinking water, and of course diapers to their tiny cabin on the top. It’s a shame the girls were too young to remember that experience.


    Comment by Cedar — July 17, 2008 @ 5:51 am

  10. I should add that the mountaintop that they were on was not as severe as the one in your picture,… the children were not in any danger there!


    Comment by Cedar — July 17, 2008 @ 5:52 am

  11. That would have been a great experience for the girls had they been a little older. One of my uncles spent his whole life in the Forest Service and started out on a lookout near here in the summers. That was in the early 40’s and the lookout is still in service but now there’s a road to it: when he was there it was a 17 mile hike.


    Comment by montucky — July 17, 2008 @ 8:06 am

  12. Must feel like you can see forever from that peak.


    Comment by Bo — July 17, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  13. It has good visibility of a fairly large section of forest and in that direction on a clear day, you can see nearly a hundred miles. The Bighole peak itself is to the left of it in the photo and it’s a little taller, blocking visibility in that direction, however, that area is covered by another lookout about 10 miles to the west. From the top of that peak, it’s possible to see 7 other lookout locations.


    Comment by montucky — July 17, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

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