Mission Lookout

Bigfork, Montana

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Overview

Mission Lookout towers above the forest canopy, providing guests with unrivaled 360-degree views of the beautiful Swan Range, Mission Mountains and Swan Lake. The site served for 75 years as a fire detection tower, and the current lookout has been around since its construction in 1959.

The tower can be accessed by vehicle. A parking area is adjacent to the facility. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Recreation

Along with the spectacular scenery, the immediate area offers visitors an unlimited array of outdoor activities ranging from fishing and swimming at the nearby Swan Lake, to watching migratory waterfowl at the wildlife viewing area.

Hunting is also popular not far from the lookout. Shooting within 150 yards of the Lookout or from/across roads is prohibited.

A variety of hiking and mountain biking trails can be found in the area.

Facilities

The 15-by-15 facility sits atop a 40-foot tower. It is equipped with a built-in double bed and two folding cots, to accommodate up to four adults. The lookout also has a propane cooking stove, simple cooking utensils and a table with four chairs. A modern vault toilet, picnic area and fire ring are located at the base of the tower.

No water or electricity is available. Guests should bring plenty of water, bedding, food, firewood, toiletries and a non-open flame light source, such as a battery-powered lantern, as candles are not allowed within the cabin. href="http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/flathead/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=67022&actid=101">Click here for more cabin details.

Natural Features

At an elevation of approximately 3,700 feet, the cabin affords views of Flathead National Forest, including the Mission Mountains and Swan Lake.

A variety of wildlife make its home in the area.

Nearby Attractions

The town of Swan Lake, about 15 minutes away, has a general store with limited groceries and a restaurant.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to Bond Lake

    From Kalispell, head south towards Swan Lake along Highway 83 until a sign for Bond Creek Trailhead is located on the east side oft the road near mile marker 71. Turning onto Forest Service Road #680 and after 1.5 miles, turning on FS Road #9507, ...

    11.6 miles 2300 ft gain

  • Hike Montana's Swan Crest Trail

    Getting There: Coming from Seeley Lake, take the road towards Bigfork. Continue until you get to mile marker 27 and turn right into the Morrell/Clearwater turn off. Stay on the road most traveled until you dead end at the trail head roughly 7 mil...

    47 miles

  • Summit Swan Peak

    This hike is about an hour drive south from Kalispell. Follow MT-83 S for about 47 mi. towards and past Swan Lake. Take a left on NF-554 and follow the road for 1.6 mi. and take a right on Squeezer Creek Rd. and follow the road for 4 mi. to a gate...

    18.49 miles 6180 ft gain