I know I know. I said I would have a blog post to you shortly and here I am almost a month later, finally getting around to posting the adventure my wife and I took to the McCart Fire Lookout Tower in Sula, MT.
McCart Lookout Tower is a great destination for anyone interested in fire tower rentals. Sitting at 7,115 in elevation McCart Lookout Tower provides expansive views of the surrounding Bitterroot National Forest.
Located just East of Sula, MT around 1 ½ miles from the Johnson Peak trailhead. McCart Lookout Tower offers a laid back hike in with little elevation gain. Having done a bit of research ahead of time, I decided to take advantage of the minimal elevation gain, packing in a few comforts of home. These comforts included extra pillows, thicker sleeping pads as well as the sleeping bags my wife and I generally save for summer glamping. We also packed in propane, a french press, a soft cooler of food and plenty of drinking water. (The closest water source is a mile or so away from the tower.)
Upon arriving at the tower we offloaded our packs and observed our accommodations for the weekend. The condition of the cabin is great. Like many of the surviving lookout towers, it has been refurbished to its original state and has been continually maintained by tenants as well as the forest service. While there is no electricity or running water, there is a propane camp stove as well as propane lantern provided. The tower also includes a table and chairs, a wooden bed frame with foam padding (sleeping bags recommended) and a neat wood stove for those chilly nights. The condition of the stove was as expected, well used and reminiscent of a time when that was how you stayed warm and prepared your food. I made a point of cooking dinner on it the first night!
As far as space goes, this lookout tower is perfect for 2 people and maybe a furry friend. You could fit a couple more people as long as they were good and drunk before passing out on the floor for the night. The little bit of wine I packed in definitely helped me. However, don’t be so quick to tuck into your sleeping bag. The sunsets on the Bitterroots is a sight to see. On a clear summer night, watching the sun set provides a calming way to wind down.
When it is all said and done, the weekend was like every other weekend, over too soon. I could have spent another day or two at McCart taking in the views and enjoying the peace and quiet. There is something to be said about disconnecting yourself from society for a weekend. I am excited to be able to share my adventure with you!