Located high in the Blue Mountains in SE Washington, the Clearwater lookout offers an experience like few others in Washington. You can spend the night inside the watchman's cabin at the base. This is part of the Recreation Rental program. The tower is off limits but on special occasions, permission is granted for visitors to climb the nearly 100 foot tower to the 7 by 7 foot cab.
Elevation: 5,658 feet
Washington Lookout Sites
Around 1908 an old trappers cabin was converted into the Clearwater Ranger Station, located a short walk away from the current tower. The open glade at Clearwater was fenced in 1909 for a ranger station pasture for their horses. In 1912 a telephone line was built from the Tucannon Ranger Station to the Clearwater Ranger station. Counting and separating corrals for sheep were built at Clearwater around 1910. Around 1928 Ranger Grover Blake built a three-room house at Clearwater out of scrap lumber and donated lumber. He also moved a one-room summer home cabin from Teal Spring to Clearwater and fixed it up for the forest Guards quarters. (History of the Blue Mountains)
A 1933 CCC Camp of 200 men were in the Asotin District for about four months. One project during this time was building the garage and steel tower at Clearwater Ranger Station. (History of the Blue Mountains)
Kresek has this as a 94 foot steel MC-39 tower built in 1938. The Umatilla National Forest Inventory has it as a 90 foot steel tower. Another source has it as an 82 foot steel Aermotor tower, available for emergencies.
In 1939 the Clearwater Ranger Station was made the Protective Assistant's headquarters instead of Diamond Peak. All new telephone wiring was installed, including a double switchboard system. A lumber tent frame was built near the Clearwater tower for use of the Lookout. (History of the Blue Mountains)
From Pomeroy, take 15th St. south for approximately 16 miles to the forest boundary where the road turns to gravel. Continue on gravel for approximately 7 miles until you see the Clearwater tower. A right turn takes you up a short driveway up to the tower and living residents.
1913 map showing the Clearwater Ranger Station
Lookout Guard Station
Clearwater is popular for its sunset view
Clearwater Lookout at night
Soccer game in the heli-port landing area