Hiker’s Guide to Montana’s Fire Lookouts

In Northwest Montana, a bounty of hiking opportunities abound

Like cabins in the sky, fire lookouts — a term used to describe both a person and a place — rose to prominence a century ago, when wildfire detection became a priority following the massive fires of 1910, and the U.S. Forest Service launched its fire lookout program in earnest.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed more than 5,000 towers across the country, often in difficult-to-access locations, and today, hiking to these remote outposts has become a favorite pastime.

In Northwest Montana, a bounty of hiking opportunities abound, many of which are catalogued in the second volume of the book, “Northwest Montana Fire Lookouts: A Hiking Guide.”

Available in local outdoor retail stores and online at http://www.nwmt-ffla.org/, the book by Steve Rains features 30 additional lookouts and more than 200 color photos, as well as route statistics and detailed trailhead statistics.

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