Moses Mountain Lookout
Elevation: 6,774 feet
Hiking Distance: Drive-up
Access: 4WD and High Clearance Needed
WillhiteWeb.com: Fire Lookouts
Looking North 1934
Looking Southeast 1934
Looking Southwest 1934
From North view 1934 panoramic
Moses Mountain is the highest point on the Colville Confederated Tribes Reservation, one of Washington’s most prominent peaks (#16) and has the tallest fire lookout tower in the Pacific Northwest. The first known structure was in 1914 with a crow's nest tree platform lookout and accompanying cabin. This setup can be seen in the historic images shot in 1934.
In 1923, a 30 foot pole tower was built with a crude cab.
In 1930, a 54 foot steel tower was constructed. Images from this tower were taken in 1934 (shown below). It is possible this tower was moved to Grizzly Mountain around 1941.
In 1938, the present 123 foot Aermotor steel tower was constructed. The height allowed observers to see over the relatively flat summit plateau. It has been abandoned since the mid-1980's. The lowest stairs have been removed preventing access.
Articles found by Ron Kemnow:
September 14, 1931: “Additional rains within the Colville reservation have reduced the fire hazard so that the lookout men on Moses mountain and Whitestone peak are being relieved for the season.” (The Wenatchee Daily World)
July 12, 1932: “Lookouts have been stationed at the various stations on the Colville Indian forest. Tom Hilakakhn is at Mt. Moses. Mr. Patrie reports the fire hazard much less than this time last year.” (The Wenatchee World)
July 22, 1937: “The Colville reservation is to have a 120-foot steel lookout tower erected this fall on Moses mountain and a 110-foot steel lookout tower will be built also this fall at George mountain.” (The Wenatchee Daily World)
From Omak, take Highway 155 for roughly 18.5 miles. Turn left onto BIA-56, drive 5.3 miles along BIA-56 (dirt & gravel). Finally, turn left onto BIA-61, which is a dirt road that goes to the summit. Stop if you start having trouble driving, this road could be in various conditions. A recent fire that burned the mountain is causing loads of dirt and water to drain onto and across the road. There may be significant ruts and erosion areas. A high-clearance, 4WD vehicle will just enjoy the road, no real technical issues to navigate.
The crows nest in the North view 1934 panoramic
Moses Mountain from Omak Mountan
Moses Mountain Lookout in 2019
Burned area at summit
Views from the highest rock
Sign on BIA 56
Footings and steps from the 1930 tower