Mt Pechuck Lookout- on the southern border of Table Rock Wilderness
From the flanks of Rooster Rock in the Old Cascades, you can look south a few miles and glimpse a small building poking above the trees atop a 4338 foot high bump on the ridgeline. On this bump is Pechuck Lookout, a cupola-style stone and wood structure built in 1932. My picture dates from 2000. Mollala, Oregon. Mollala. Clackamas County, Oregon.
If you had a really clear day and a good pair of binoculars, you could see Pechuck Lookout if you stood up on top of the Oregon Capitol Building in downtown Salem; the rustic lookout is only 36 air miles distant, but truly it is a World Apart, quiet, clean and green.
In 1982, this lookout was slated for destruction, a fate which had already befallen a very large number of other lookout towers in Oregon and nationwide. An eight-year long effort to save the building was led by a former district ranger. The conservation efforts were part of the creation of the National Historic Lookout Register, of which Pechuck became the second listing.(the NHLR)....Here's a link to the Forest Fire Lookout Association, a nationwide entity with may resources..... When I visited Pechuck in 2000, an annual volunteer work crew had just finished unshuttering the windows after the deep snows of winter, and had also performed a number of more extensive re-furbishments. The lookout building glowed with a sense of loving care.
Here's a quotation from the NHLR section about Pechuck-- "a former Oregon State Department of Forestry lookout located on Bureau of Land Management land near Molalla, has qualified as the second site to be registered. The structure is a cupola and is especially unique in that it was built of stone reminiscent of nearby Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Although not in use for many years, the building undoubtedly escaped razing because of the effort that would have been required to remove it. The building has been rerooted and restored by a group of volunteers led by Pete Bond, Trails Coordinator for the Oregon Department of State Parks in Salem." (link to the page-- http://www.nhlr.org/Lookouts/each_lookout.aspx?which_lookout=2)
This image was a finalist in the May 2005 national contest sponsored by the National Landscape Conservation System, based in Washington, D.C. This image is for sale, see details below:
The image was taken from Rooster Rock (elev. 4624), looking north along the ridge toward Table Rock. Pechuck Lookout lies a few miles in the opposite direction. The summit of Table provides a truly spectacular view spreading all the way from Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams, to Mt. Hood and southward all the way to Diamond Peak! As the summit lies at just under 5,000 ft, snow can linger under its spectacular north and east cliffs until June. The trails are narrow and occasionally quite rocky and brush-choked. Horse travel is discouraged strongly on the main Table Rock trail. The trail between Rooster Rock and Table Rock is called the Divide Trail, and was nearly impassable in 2002 due to brush, some of which was very spiny and painful. Go south about five miles on the Divide Trail and you will come to the BLM 's Salem District's Mt. Pechuck Lookout (elev. 4338). It's a gorgeous stone and frame cupola-style lookout that was built in 1932. It's on the National Historic Register of lookout towers, and is for rent on a reservation basis. Don't miss this Link to our pages on Cougar sightings and mountain lion dangers within Oregon.