Gold Point Lookout Site
US 957, OR 315

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 957, OR 315 (view other lookout sites in United States, Oregon)
Date Registered May 7, 2011
Nominated by Ray Kresek
Location Willamette National Forest
Lane County, Oregon
Coordinates N 43° 57.158' W 122° 25.648' (view using Google Maps)
N 43° 57' 10" W 122° 25' 39"
N 43.952640° W 122.427460°
Elevation 3,959 ft (1,207 m)
Administered by U.S.Forest Service


Set up in 1924, the first lookout on this site was a 90' tree with an enclosed crows nest. That was replaced in 1936 with a 30' round timber tower with 6'x6' L-4 cab. A 28' treated timber tower was built in 1959 and removed in 1968.

From a previous lookout

Former observer Paul Puente wrote in 2012 of his experience at Gold Point:

I was very excited to find a picture of the Gold Point Lookout on your website. I served as a paid lookout for the forest service on Gold Point between my freshman and sophomore years at university. I was stationed up there from the end of May to early September 1957 when I had to return to school.

I was with a group of other college students who needed money for our next year of studies and we all had the same idea. If you spent the summer on a fire lookout you couldn’t spend your money and it was waiting for you in the safe at the ranger station when you were ready to go home. We received training at the Fall Creek Ranger Station and worked on slash crews for about two weeks before moving up to our respective lookouts. I have fond memories of the meals made by our Swedish cook at the station while we went through our training and worked the trails. I have less fond memories of the noseeums that found their way into our bunkhouse at night.

When it was time to man the lookout, the packer loaded a mule with supplies, me on ther other one and he on his horse and off we went. I think I still have the sores from that trip up the mountain on that mule. The packer rode up once a month with my supplies and I always had a pie cooked in my wood burning stove ready for him.

Although I am now 74 years old I remember that lookout as if it were yesterday. It was a 14’ x 14’ L4 on 35 foot pole legs with a wooden crows-nest and a stairway in the center. Your description varies somewhat from this however the documented history by the National Geodetic Survey is the same as my recollection. The door was in the southeast corner, my bed in the northeast corner, the wood burner in the southwest and my table in the northwest, and of course the Osborne in the middle of the cabin with an old hand crank magneto telephone on the side of it. A single wire ran through the trees down to the ranger station. There was also a trap door in the floor near the south wall that allowed me to store perishables in the wire mesh cage that hung under the floor. It was open to the cool air that flowed under the floor of the cabin and keep things like bacon quite well for a few weeks.

My water supply was about ½ mile down the mountain where there was a small spring. It was so small however that it would take about two days to fill a 5 gallon jerry can with water. I had two of course and had to place the full one in a pack frame in order to carry it up the very steep trail. Needless to say I learn how to use water judiciously.

The other lasting memory I have of that summer were the cries (screams was more like it) of the mountain lions. Hard to forget something like that when one is alone on top of a mountain with nobody else around for miles. Once again thank you for posting that picture. It must have been made in the late 1940s because when I was there the ground around it was not quite so barren. There were many more trees.


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