Green Ridge Lookout is perched on a ridge more than 2,000 feet above the Metolius River. It offers guests a unique lodging experience in Deschutes National Forest. The lookout, a 20-foot tall fire lookout with unmatched views of Mt. Jefferson and the Metolius River basin, was built in the 1960s.
Green Ridge Lookout is available for rent early May – June and mid September – mid November. During the summer months, the lookout is staffed with Forest Service volunteers who help with forest fire detection.
Guests to Green Ridge Lookout are treated to views of snow-capped mountain peaks and dense forests of Douglas-fir, cedar and Ponderosa pine that stretch out to the horizon. Mount Jefferson, the most prominent peak in view, is a stratovolcano that reaches an elevation of 10,497 feet, the second highest mountain in Oregon.
In addition to stunning vistas, Green Ridge Lookout overlooks Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, offering birders opportunities to observe eagles feeding on resident fish. Osprey also frequent the area.
The scenic Metolius River flows through the basin beneath the tower lookout. The headwaters of the river are at Metolius Springs at the base of nearby Black Butte, a 3,076 ft. cinder cone. The clear, cold river flows north from the springs through diverse coniferous forest and a landscape of volcanic activity.
Fishing and hiking top the list of recreational activities in the area. For anglers, the Metolius River offers a stunning setting for fly-fishing. Its clear, cold waters support rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout and kokanee salmon.
For day hikers and backpackers, the area offers a wide variety of scenic terrain, ranging from riverside trails to routes through subalpine forests. Several pleasant day hikes are found along the Metolius River and to the top of Black Butte.
Lake Billy Chinook, approximately ten miles away, offers boating and fishing opportunities.
The lookout sits on a two-story tower hugging the side of Green Ridge. From the parking area, there is a short boardwalk to the lower 20×20-ft. wooden deck. A one story flight of steps leads to the catwalk of the upper deck surrounding the cabin.
The one-room cabin is furnished with a futon, a table and two chairs. It is also equipped with a propane refrigerator, an overhead light, a propane wall heater, a three-burner propane stove and oven and basic cooking utensils.
Guests must bring several of their own amenities, including food, water, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, towels, dish soap, matches, toilet paper and garbage bags. There is no water available at the site. Guests must bring water for drinking, cooking and washing. Although lighting is available, bringing an additional light source is recommended.
Lava Lands Visitor Center in Bend, Oregon, and the unique geological landscape of Newberry National Volcanic Monument draw visitors to the region.
Visitors may also enjoy traveling the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, known as Oregons Highway in the Sky. The 66-mile drive through the Cascade Mountain range weaves through snow-capped peaks and alpine lakes, highlighting the beauty of central Oregon.