Flag Point Lookout offers spectacular views of Oregons Mt. Hood to the west, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Ranier to the north, and Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters to the south. It also provides access to a variety of winter sports, including snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
The lookout can only be accessed by skiing or snowshoeing about 11 miles from a parking area at the Billy Bob Sno-Park. A permit is required to park and the trek takes approximately eight hours. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.
The tower sits on Flag Point Butte, a 5,650-foot hillside covered with pine and fir tree forests. It was built in 1924, but renovation and reconstruction took place in 1932, 1955 and in 1973.
Of the nine peaks in Oregons Cascade Mountain Range, Mt. Hood stands the tallest, at 11,239 feet. It is thickly forested and capped with glaciers and snow. The lookout is one of three Forest Service watchtowers in the area and it is still used to spot fires in the Barlow Ranger District during summertime each year.
The surrounding area is popular among winter sports enthusiasts, as it offers access to miles of great cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The area is also popular for horseback riding and hiking in warmer weather.
A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area and can be seen in addition to the stunning views provided by the tower. The location is a shared winter recreation area and visitors should expect snowmobiles and other winter sports enthusiasts.
The cabin is atop a 60-foot tower and is surrounded by a wooden catwalk. The 14-by-14 room is furnished with a small bed, a wood stove for heating and a table and chairs. It has a propane cook stove and solar-powered lights. There is no water on-site.
An outhouse with vault toilets is located on the ground, as well as a shed stocked with firewood. A rope and pulley system is available to transport gear, as well as firewood, up and down the tower with ease.
Guests will need to bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes, as well as their own sleeping bags/bedding, a flashlight or lantern for emergencies, first aid kit, washcloths and towels, dish soap and garbage bags. This is a “Pack it in, Pack it out” facility; guests will need to carry out all trash and clean the facility prior to leaving.