After the great fire of 1910, five thousand or so mountain-top structures were erected across the nation, manned with spotters who would endure months of isolation to keep watch over the vast forests.
Many of these lookouts have since crumbled to the ground. But for those who seek a little cabin adventure, a handful of lookouts are still in vintage condition, ready to rent at amazingly reasonable rates. These original look outs are first-come, first-served and obtained through Recreation.gov, where a search for the term “fire lookout” provides up 225 results.
This featured cabin in the mountains of Montana, though not authentic in its construction, has been modeled by architect Jeff Shelden. To make Judith Mountain Cabin look like it was built in 1939 a lot of recycled material was used, corrugated metal roofing, locally sourced rock, and timbers from an 80 year old trestle bridge that had been recently dismantled. Judith Mountain Cabin brings the convenience of home into the wilderness feeling of the Fire Lookout Cabins.
"The lower level is the functional level and provides sleeping space, and a place to cook and wash up. The upper level is the main living area and provides the view and connection with the surrounding mountains. A small photovoltaic array provides electricity for lights, well pump, stereo and television. The composting toilet is in a separate nearby structure. A wood fired hot tub is also just outside the cabin."