Hike to a still-functional fire lookout built in 1914.

Statistics

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hrs

137

m

137

m

6

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

The Schonchin Butte Lookout was built in 1914, and it is still functional and manned to this day.

"Lookouts no longer live in the facility, but hike up the 0.7-mile (1.1 km) trail each day to watch for smoke on the horizon," writes the [NPS](https://www.nps.gov/labe/planyourvisit/upload/LOOKOUT.pdf).

Visitors to Lava Beds National Monument can also climb to the top of the fire, gaining incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding national monument. The hike to the top of the cinder cone follows a mostly-smooth well-built singletrack trail that switchbacks up the side of the butte.

(Note: don't cut the switchbacks.) The last 25 or so feet of the climb to the lookout ascend steps that have been carved into the lava rock. When the lookout is staffed and the ranger isn't busy, visitors can usually spend some time talking with him or her, learning about the history of the lookout and the surrounding region.

The lookout is generally "staffed from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily from June to late September," according to the NPS.

"Lookouts stay longer in cases of extreme fire danger, or if there is lightning activity in the area." Sources: https://www.nps.gov/labe/planyourvisit/upload/LOOKOUT.pdf https://californiathroughmylens.com/schonchin-butte-fire-lookout-lava-beds-national-monument/