If a bedroom 2,000 feet above the forest line is your dream come true, you’ll want to book a stay at the Green Ridge Lookout.
Like most Oregon fire lookouts, Green Ridge is an extraordinary way to take in the landscape. Located in the central part of the state, this wooden perch places visitors high above a dense carpet of ponderosa pine, cedar, Douglas fir and larch. With windows facing in every direction, it’s impossible to not take in the sunning, panoramic view of the Deschutes National Forest.
While enjoying cabin life mid-air is a pleasure unto itself, visitors can also enjoy a bounty of outdoor activities in the area. The Metolius River offers fishers a slew of options, from catch-and-release rainbow trout to nabbing some kokanee. Hikes run throughout the mountainous area, and birdwatchers will get cricks in their necks from spotting ospreys and eagles. And evenings watching the sun set across Mt. Jefferson is a compelling way to close out an evening.
Not all fire lookouts are primed with amenities, but Green Ridge is an exception. You’ll stay with its oven, heater and fireplace. There’s a propane refrigerator to stock your edible goods, and basic utensils to eat them with. The cabin also comes with solar-powered lighting, a fire pit and a nearby outhouse. But bring your own towels, soap, bedding, water matches, toilet paper and garbage bags.
Like most lookouts, the one con about Green Ridge is that it can be depressingly hard to book. Try to do so as early as possible, as reservations fill up fast!
Directions from the U.S. Forest Service site:
From Sisters, travel 5.5 miles west on U.S. Highway 20 to Forest Road 11 at Indian Ford Campground. Turn right on Forest Road 11 and travel approximately 10 miles to the end of pavement at the junction with Forest Road 1150. Take the left fork of Forest Road 1150, to the junction with Forest Road 1154. Turn left on Forest Road 1154 and continue to Forest Road 1140. Turn left on Forest Road 1140 and continue to spur road 600. Take a very sharp right on spur road 600, and travel approximately 0.5 miles on the spur road to the parking area for Green Ridge Lookout.