Smoothing Iron Ridge Lookout Site (Round Prairie)
A 1933 CCC Camp of 200 men were in the Asotin District for about four months. One project during this time was the building the Smoothing Iron Ridge emergency lookout house. They also put in a phone line from Wickiup Spring down the ridge to the Smoothing Iron emergency station. This was reported as a cabin, but the remains of any foundation were difficult to find during my visit. The ground vegetation made it difficult to find anything unless you are right on top of it. Several depressions were suspicious but nothing of certainty was found. Around 1885 to 1890, a band of over 500 wild horses were frequently seen on smoothing Iron Ridge.
Elevation: 5,000ish feet
Distance: 500 to 1000 feet of easy walking
Access: Good Gravel
Washington Lookout Sites
From Pomeroy, take 15th Street south. After 15 miles, the road enters the Umatilla National Forest and becomes known as Forest Road 40. After another 15 miles is a major intersection. Take FR-44 which is the main road sticking to the ridge. Follow for several miles until it turns left dropping down the ridge to the north. When the road reaches the 5,000 feet level, you are in the Round Prairie. Park and stroll across the ridge to the area of the site.
1946 map showing building near Round Prairie Spring
Location on current USGS map