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Pechuck Lookout

Pechuck Lookout

CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO RIVERSIDE FIRE CLOSURE

In the early 20th century, a growing concern for fire protection in forested areas resulted in the construction of lookouts with wide views throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Located on the Table Rock Trail, within the BLM Northwest Oregon District boundary, the Pechuck Lookout was established in 1918, at an elevation of 4,338 feet.

Originally, the lookout consisted only of a primitive fire detection rangefinder; and some years later, in the early 1930s, a small stone and wood cabin was built.

The Pechuck Lookout, also known as a cupola, was built by John Oblack, a Czechoslovakian from Molalla with help from an unknown stone mason from Portland.

The cupola-type lookout was built primarily with native stone from sources nearby and the lower story served as the living quarters for hearty individuals staffing the fire lookout. The upper story has windows on all four sides and provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.

Pechuck Lookout photo by Michael Campbell, BLM

Until 1932, the only access to the lookout site was by way of the Table Rock Trail through what is now Table Rock Wilderness.

Increased use of fire detection aircraft and improved road systems reduced the need for fire lookouts, and in 1964, it was determined that Pechuck was no longer needed as part of a fire suppression system.

Over the years, the BLM has partnered with several organizations to assist in management of the lookout. Pechuck Lookout was ultimately placed on the National Historic Lookout Register in 1990 and the World Fire Lookout Register in 1992. The lookout’s style of stone and wood construction is highly distinctive, and it is the only stone lookout remaining in Oregon.

The Pechuck Lookout is open to the public for visitation and overnight use on a first-come, first-served basis.

The lookout, which sits just outside the Table Rock Wilderness, can be accessed from multiple trailheads. The most popular trailhead is the Rooster Rock trailhead on the south east corner of the Table Rock Wilderness.