Lookout Mountain Trail - South End

Hike Rating: Easy
Hike Length: 8.4 miles roundtrip (to South Point)
Elevation Gain: 1,100’
Trailhead Elevation: 5,620’
Best Season: June through September
Driving Access: Any vehicle, with care

Plus Points
• A moderate day hike to a high mountain plateau (6,500')
• Dramatic, panoramic views from the promontory at South Point
• Old growth ponderosa and fir forests on the lower slopes
• Subalpine fir and low sagebrush on the slopes above timberline
• Trail follows old wagon roads, so it's an easy grade for walking
• A seldom-used trail, so solitude is likely

Minus Points
• Lots of cow activity on the lower trail (though almost none higher up)
• Trail can be muddy in early spring, so best to wait until soils dry out

Download (PDF, 546 KB): Photos of Lookout Mountain Trail - South
Download (PDF, 628 KB): Topo Map for Lookout Mountain Trail - South
Download (GPX, 4 KB): GPS Points for Lookout Mountain Trail - South
Download (PDF, 520 KB): Road Map for Lookout Mountain Trail - South

Trail Notes
Map of Lookout Mountain Trail - South End
The hike begins on the Line Butte Trail (#807), on a gentle grade through open grasslands under mature ponderosa pines. Expect lots of cow activity in this section. At about 1.8 miles, a trail sign indicates where the Lookout Mountain Trail (#808) branches off to the right. Follow this trail uphill as it gradually climbs and switchbacks to the top of the mountain plateau, through thick fir forests that give way to open sage slopes above timberline.

Once on top of the plateau, the trails are a bit hard to follow. To reach South Point, find the trail junction at GPS Point 1. Then follow a faint trail southeast 0.3 miles along an old wagon road (paralleling a line of fence posts) to the ridge top at GPS Point 2. Here the wagon road ends at a rock crib gate in a fallen down wire fence.

From this rock crib gate, a faint trail continues south and east through the sagebrush for about 0.4 miles to South Point (GPS Point 3). From this rock promontory there are sweeping views east to Big Summit Prairie and south to the Maury Mountains across the Crooked River Valley. South Point is a great lunch and hike destination, before retracing your steps back to the trailhead.

Road to Trailhead
The trailhead is easily accessible on good gravel roads that can be driven by any passenger car. From paved Road 42, at the southwest corner of Big Summit Prairie, drive south on gravel Road 4215 for about 9.4 miles, passing through several big grass prairies along the way. At about 9.4 miles, turn to the right (north) onto Road 4220. Follow this road for 1.1 miles, to where Road 257 branches off the left. Turn left (west) onto Road 257 and drive 0.8 miles to its end at the Line Butte trailhead sign.

Camping Options
The nearest developed campground is the Biggs Springs Campground, about 7 driving miles east of the trailhead, off gravel Road 4215. This is a small campground, with just 3 free sites, situated on a hill above a wet meadow fed by Biggs Spring Creek. It has a vault toilet but no drinking water. There’s not much privacy here, but the campsites are widely spaced and can accommodate nearly any size camping rig.

The next nearest campground is the Deep Creek Campground, about 20 driving miles east of the trailhead, off paved Road 42. This is a large campground on the North Fork Crooked River, near its confluence with Deep Creek. There are 14 sites, two vault toilets and a drinking water supply. The fee is $8.00 per night in 2011 and any type of camping setup can find a place here, from small tents to large travel trailers.

Finally, if self-contained with your own water and sanitation, there are several nice dispersed campsites to be found off Road 4215. Check below the road where it crosses Lookout Creek, on the edge of Lookout Pasture. There are also sites on the edges of Gray Prairie, off of side roads in the area. Be sure you’re camping on Forest Service land, though, as some of Gray Prairie is privately owned.

Agency Contact: Ochoco National Forest, (541) 416-6500

DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, but the authors do not guarantee that it is either current or correct. The reader assumes full responsibility for any use of this information, and is encouraged to contact local federal land agencies to inquire about current conditions before traveling.

Page last updated: 12/26/11