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Grave Peak Lookout

Elevation: 8282 ftSelway-Bitterroot Wilderness


Grave Peak Lookout was built in 1924. This is one of the few remaining D6 model lookouts.

The lookout was abandoned in 1967.

This unique lookout has been wrapped for fire protection many times over – including this 2021 fire season.

This lookout is somewhat famous as it was manned by Norman Maclean – whose book: The Ranger, The Cook, and The Hole in the Sky was the basis for A River Runs Through It.

Thankfully this lookout has been “adopted” by many and kept in wonderful shape with continued and ongoing restoration efforts. In 2019 a group of volunteers, Forest Service employees, interns, and leaders from the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation as well as volunteers and high school students from Iowa completed the amazing task of removing and replacing the roof, main level flooring, and a new door. The materials and tools were hauled up to Friday Pass via mule pack train – and from there hauled on the volunteer’s backs. You cannot begin to understand what a monumental task this is until you have climbed from Friday Pass to Graves Peak!

On our visit in 2021, it was noted that a corner of the lookout foundation was worked on recently in order to stabilize the building.

Our Notes:

There’s really no putting this in a way that doesn’t sound pathetic – this hike kicked our butts! We were told by one friend that making this a day hike was “ambitious”. That friend was being generous. Did I enjoy this hike? Ummmm, ask me in a week when I’m no longer sore.

Enough whimpering – this lookout really is fantastic! We were told that the flooring used to be so far gone that you could see thru to the rocks it was built on – but the volunteers conjured some magic and it looks brand new! The next step in the restoration is replacing the windows in the cupola, which we were told would be done in the summer of 2022. They need sherpas – who’s down?

The U.S. Forest Service – Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest posted photos of that AMAZING rehab work done in 2019 on their Facebook page. Check it out here https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=3189397261085594&id=858321090859901

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