Indian Ridge Lookout

Willamette National Forest

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The Indian Ridge Lookout offers primitive accommodation with spectacular views of the Three Sisters, Cascade Crest, and the Willamette National Forest. Guests can explore the area on the meandering ridge trail and access to nearby Hidden Lake for swimming and sunbathing. Wildlife spotting is also available with Roosevelt elk, black bear, bald eagles, black tail deer and bobcats in the area.


The Indian Ridge Lookout sits at an elevation of 5,405 feet in the Willamette National Forest. Built in 1958, the lookout was used for firefighting by Forest Service personnel until 1973. The lookout is still staffed occasionally during emergencies. The lookout is accessible by car, although the access road is rocky. Guests must be prepared to climb steep, narrow steps up the 30-foot tower to access the lookout's cabin. The accommodations are primitive, so guests should be prepared to pack in most of their own supplies and gear.


From the lookout's perch above the tree line and far away from city lights, guests can enjoy spectacular night skies and star gazing. An unmaintained trail on the ridge meanders through alpine trees and beargrass, allowing hikers to explore the mountaintop. The French Pete Trail Area in the Three Sisters Wilderness offers several miles of hiking. Cougar Reservoir and Hidden Lake are also in the vicinity, offering additional recreation options.


The 16x16-ft. cabin sleeps 4 and is equipped with 2 twin beds with foam mattresses, a table with chairs, broom and dust pan, mop and storage shelves. An outhouse with vault toilet is located 50 feet from the lookout and a picnic table and fire ring are outside. No heat, electricity or water are available. Guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing. Propane cook stoves and lanterns are recommended, since they create fewer fumes than liquid gas appliances. Items such as a cook stove, bedding, flashlights, dishes and cookware, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, towels and an ice chest are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving.

Natural Features

Views from the lookout include the Three Sisters, which are close and prominent to the northeast, along with views of the Cascade Crest both north and south. The Sand Mountain and Carpenter Mountain Lookouts are visible with binoculars. Hidden Lake is visible below the northern edge of mountaintop. The open ridge is covered with beargrass and huckleberries. Several rocky outcroppings are covered by wildflowers and mossy vegetation, depending on the season. Willamette National Forest offers prime habitat for such species as Roosevelt elk, black bear, bald eagles, black tail deer and bobcats, among other wildlife.

Nearby Attractions

A short trail to Hidden Lake offers access to alpine swimming and sunbathing.
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Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Willamette National Forest.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
French Pete
Willamette National Forest
3.5mi 86%
Hard Rock
Willamette National Forest
Cougar Crossing
Willamette National Forest
Red Diamond
Willamette National Forest
Willamette National Forest
Slide Creek
Willamette National Forest
Made with ❤️ in Mammoth Lakes
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