Saturday, June 9, 2012

Clear Lake Lookout

Today is National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event (started in 2008) designed to encourage healthy, active, outdoor fun...particularly in the many beautiful public lands in the United States.

And here's a house on public (US Forest Service) land that will certainly get you outdoors, but this isn't your average ski house.  The Ski House of the Day is the Clear Lake Lookout, a former fire-tower perched on the side of Oregon's Mt. Hood (near the NW corner of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation):

Amazingly, you can actually stay in this place...the US Forest Service rents it out (for $50/night according to their website).  But to get there you'll have to ski, snowshoe or snowmobile the 3.2 miles in from the road.  And you'll have to bring your own water with you.

The "house" is a 14 ft. X 14 ft. room surrounded by a narrow wooden catwalk atop a 40 ft high tower.  Inside you'll find a bed, table and chairs, wood-stove, a propane stove for cooking, and solar lighting:

Nearby there's a shed with firewood, and an outhouse, too.  But I think that the main feature is the four walls of continuous windows onto its incredible view:

Not only can you get outdoors, you can gaze out at that view in all four directions and feel like you're outdoors even with a roof over your head.

The Forest Service warns that you must be an experienced back-country mountaineer with survival skills to stay here, and that the height of the cabin poses serious risks, and that the ladder / steps and catwalk can become hazardous in the ice and snow, and that the tower will sway during high winds...but, wow, what a view:

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