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Camping at Pickett Butte Lookout Campground

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Location and Access

Pickett Butte Lookout is situated within the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon, USA. Historically, fire lookouts like Pickett Butte were used to spot wildfires throughout the forest.

To access Pickett Butte Lookout, visitors often need to hike or drive, depending on the road conditions and weather. The location can be remote and may require travel on unpaved roads.

Camping Amenities

Camping at Pickett Butte Lookout is quite different from typical campground experiences because it is a historic fire lookout. Here is what you can expect in terms of amenities:

  • Accommodation: The lookout tower itself serves as the camping structure and includes basic furnishings such as a bed frame or mattresses.
  • Utilities: Amenities are minimal. There may be no running water or electricity, and heating may be provided by a wood stove.
  • Cooking Facilities: There may be a small kitchen area with a propane stove for cooking, but campers should bring their own cooking equipment and supplies.

It's crucial to confirm the specific amenities offered at Pickett Butte Lookout before your trip, as they can vary and may be different from typical campground facilities.


  • Hiking: Umpqua National Forest provides numerous trails for all levels of hikers.
  • Wildlife Observation: As a lookout, Pickett Butte is an excellent spot for bird watching and wildlife observation.
  • Photography: The elevated position gives photographers a unique vantage point for landscape photography.

Reservations and Fees

  • Booking: It is often necessary to reserve Pickett Butte Lookout well in advance due to its unique nature and limited availability.
  • Fees: There will be a nightly fee for staying at the lookout. This fee can vary, so it is important to check the current rates when planning your trip.

Seasonal Accessibility

  • The lookout may not be accessible during the winter months due to snow and other harsh weather conditions.
  • The best time to visit is typically in the summer or early fall when the weather is more predictable and the roads are passable.

Leave No Trace

Since Pickett Butte Lookout is located in a national forest, it is important to follow Leave No Trace principles:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare: Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
  • Leave What You Find: Preserve the past; examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.

Safety Considerations

  • Wildlife: Remember you are in bear country, so store food appropriately and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Water: Bring plenty of water, as sources may be unreliable or untreated.
  • Weather: Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and have appropriate clothing.

Fire Regulations

Due to the historical and environmental sensitivity of lookout sites:

  • Campfires: May be prohibited or regulated depending on the current fire danger level.
  • Smoking: Smoking may be restricted, especially during high fire danger periods.

Contact Information

For the most current information regarding Pickett Butte Lookout, contact the Umpqua National Forest Ranger District:

  • Umpqua National Forest
  • Address: Specific address details can be found via the Forest Service website or by contacting the ranger district directly.
  • Phone: Always verify the current phone number for the Umpqua National Forest Ranger District before your trip.

By respecting the rules and preserving the natural environment, visitors can ensure Pickett Butte Lookout and the Umpqua National Forest remain beautiful and accessible for future generations.

Location of Pickett Butte Lookout Campground
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