Have you ever wanted to rent a mountain for a night?  For $20 a night (plus a $9 fee) and a one mile hike up about 800 feet, you can stay in a historic fire lookout and have the whole mountain- and amazing view- to yourself!

Reservations for Hornet Lookout are obtained via Recreation.gov, and can be made up to six months in advance.  Consider a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle with some clearance if available, as the forest service roads aren't always well maintained.

Although the hike is short, it is all switchbacks up to the top and you need to carry enough water to last for your entire stay (including cooking and cleaning).  

Plan this trip as you would a backpack (minus the tent or hammock) and consider the shelter a bonus.  There is an outhouse, and the lookout has a couple of cots, a wood burning stove (more for cooking than heating), a propane stove, a few pots and pans, and some other basic supplies.

Be sure to bring warm clothes and bedding because it does get quite cold in the wee morning hours, even in the middle of summer.  

Inside the lookout is a ladder that leads up to the cupola.  There isn't much room for maneuvering up there, but the views are amazing!

You can book it here: http://www.recreation.gov/camp...

Pack List

  • Padlock combination (from the reservation confirmation email) so you can get into the lookout!
  • Earplugs- the windows rattle and critters will probably come out at night
  • Warm clothes for layering and a warm sleeping bag or extra blankets
  • Plenty of water
  • Sunscreen and rain gear
  • Camera and fresh batteries
  • Reading material, deck of cards, etc.
Show More
RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Romantic
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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