Skookum Butte Lookout

Skookum Butte sits on the Montana/Idaho border at 7215 feet. An ancient lookout sits atop of the knob of pillow granite. The Skookum Butte Lookout is one of only three remaining L-5 log/frame ground houses remaining. The wood has aged to barnwood gray, and the entire structure seems to be in danger of collapse at some point.

Getting There

Take US Hwy 12 for 10 miles from Lolo to Elk Meadows Road 451. Continue on this well-maintained gravel road for 12.1 miles. Look for the Forest Service Road sign for FR 2186. Turn right and travel 0.5 miles to the trailhead.

The Hike

  • Trail: Skookum Butte Trail #304
  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 932 feet

The trail is relatively steep, but short. In fact, I made the summit in about 35 minutes. I decided to climb the rocks to the lookout (you know, adventure and all), but if you would rather stay on the trail, it circles around the back of the butte before going up to the structure.

Total distance: 2.83 mi
Max elevation: 7215 ft
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Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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