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Idaho Forest Fire Lookout Challenge Mystery Cache

Hidden : 08/07/2007
4 out of 5
4.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The Idaho Forest Fire Lookout Challenge 

The posted coordinates are the final coordinates. The final parking coordinates are listed below as an additional waypoint, however you may not be able to claim a find for this challenge until the requirements are completed (see below).

I would like to thank Navigatorz for all their help, suggestions and such a cool idea for a Lookout Challenge. This Idaho challenge is based on their Washington State Forest Fire Lookout Challenge with their permission.

I have always loved forest fire lookouts -the history, beauty, stillness and of course sometimes excitement that you can find at lookouts. Growing up I spent my summers camping and backpacking in northern Idaho and we learned a great respect for those that cared for and guarded our forests. My brother even went into the forest service for some time -he now teaches natural sciences to high schools students in Montana.

You can visit Here for a Wikipedia article about Forest Fire Lookouts. The article describes the various types of lookouts and their history and purpose. There is also some interesting trivia regarding lookout towers.

This Idaho Forest Fire Lookout Challenge is for geocachers who also love the great outdoors, the mountain drives and hikes, and the scenic and usually panoramic views. Forest Fire Lookouts also have historical significance. They were built in the early to mid-1900s. Some towers are still standing. Some are gone and only the footings and the spectacular views remain. The Great 1910 Fire that burned 3 million acres of forest in western Montana and northern Idaho, and shaped much of the modern fire suppression effort prompted the building and staffing of many lookouts.

At the time this Challenge was created, there were 43 geocaches at lookout sites in Idaho state. See my bookmark list. Hopefully new geocaches will be placed at other lookout sites -Please let me know and I'll add them to the list! See references below.

The first firewatch lookouts were built in the late 1890s in Montana. After the turn of the century, the US Forest Service was born and after a historic wildfire, the Forest Service began building more lookout towers. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps began building hundreds of lookouts across the country. Of the more than 8,000 lookouts constructed on the mountain peaks and ridge tops across America, a total of 656 lookouts were built in Idaho State alone. Then, no more than one generation later, the lookouts were being replaced by airplanes, helicopters, and video cameras. Firewatch towers were systematically being dismantled or destroyed. Fortunately, some were saved and still exist today. Of the 989 lookouts in Idaho State, 196 remain. Of the 196 lookouts still standing, 60 were staffed as late as 1998, and 42 are on the National Historic Lookout Register

For a list of caches in this challenge, Check out the ID State Lookout Caches Bookmark List at the top of this Page!

Washington Forest Fire Lookout Challenge

Fire Lookouts of the Northwest by Ray Kresek

Forest Fire Lookout Association

National Historic Lookout Register (Idaho List)

Rex's Forest Fire Lookout Page

Conrad's North Idaho Forest Fire Lookouts

The Big Burn of 1910

Now for the challenge: Find and/or Hide geocaches at 50 Forest Fire Lookout Sites in the State of Idaho.

The Rules:

1) Caches listed on are the only caches valid for this challenge.

2) Previous Finds and Hides Count so long as they are listed in this bookmark list. This Bookmark list will be updated as new caches are placed and approved by the Groundspeak Approvers. Finds/Hides will be counted on caches that are archived only if the caches are archived "after" the start of the challenge. NOTE: Please let me know if there are geocaches located at lookout sites that are not on my Bookmark list. If they meet the requirements, they will be added.

3) Physical caches only - They must contain a logbook. Virtual, webcam, and event caches do not qualify.

4) You may claim a cache that you own. Only one geocacher username can claim a hide.

5) Qualifying caches MUST BE ACTIVE. Archived/disabled caches DO NOT QUALIFY unless they are archived/disabled AFTER you send me a Bookmark listing of your Finds/Hides.

6) Placement of a NEW geocache at a Forest Fire Lookout site counts the same as finding a cache at a Lookout Site, but a NEW cache must be placed within 0.1 mile of the Lookout Tower or Site. If the tower no longer exists, the lookout site is usually found at the very peak of the ridge or hill and there are usually tell-tell signs of concrete footings or foundations.

7) New caches placed will be counted if they are traditional caches with medium to large containers. New micro caches will not be allowed.

8) You must find at least 4 geocaches at lookouts and lookout sites in each of the 8 regions of the state defined below. This means that even though you may have found/hidden the required 50 caches, you will not have successfully completed the challenge if you have not found 4 caches in each of the 8 regions of the state.

9) You may not log this cache as a find until all requirements have been met for each individual. All invalid finds will be deleted.

10) Caches must be located at Lookouts or Lookout Sites where the original purpose of the lookout was to watch for forest fires or wildfires, such as those built by the US Forest Service or the Department of Natural Resources. Caches at other lookouts, such as those built at scenic attractions, or lookouts built specifically for bird watching, for example, do not count.

11) There may be lookouts with more than one geocache, and they are both listed in the Bookmark listing. You may find both caches, however only one of them will be counted for this challenge. The idea is to visit 50 different lookout sites.

12) The final cache may only be found and logged "after" completing the requirements of this challenge (finding/owning caches at 50 lookouts).

How to Log this Cache:

Send me an Email with a Shared Bookmark List of your hides/finds. After verification that you have successfully completed the challenge requirements, and have found the final cache, you may then log a Find for this cache.

The map below shows locations of active geocaches at Fire Lookout sites. The state has been divided into 8 regions as shown on the map below. Each geocacher must find/hide at least 4 geocaches in each of the 8 regions.

This map was updated on September 9, 2007.

The 8 Areas are defined as follows:

AREA 1: The area of Idaho state that lies North of State Route 2 Newport east to route 200, route 200 east to Montana border.

AREA 2: The area of Idaho South of AREA 1, north of I90.

AREA 3: The area of Idaho South of I90, North of 47° N Latitude

AREA 4: The area Idaho South of 47° N Latitude, North of US 12 State border to State border

AREA 5: The area of Idaho South of US 12 from Lewiston east to Kooskia, West of SR 13 Kooskia to Grangeville, West of US 95 Grangeville to the Oregon State border at Weiser

AREA 6: The area of Idaho South of US 12 at the Montana border West to Kooskia, East of US 95 to Adams county line, North of Idaho county border to the Montana State border

AREA 7: The area South of Idaho county border West from the Montana State border to US 95, East of US 95 South to the Oregon state border at Weiser, North of I84 Weiser East to Boise, North of SR 21 Boise east to Stanley, North of SR 75 Stanley East to Challis, West of US 93 Challis north to the Montana border

AREA 8: The area of Idaho South of I84 at Weiser East to Boise, South of SR 21 Boise east to Stanley, South of SR 75 Stanley East to Challis, East of US 93 Challis north to the Montana border


Name Date Completed
GrBaach September 15, 2008

PROGRESS OF GEOCACHERS PARTICIPATING IN THIS CHALLENGE AND NUMBER OF FOUND/OWNED CACHES. Red numbers denote the minimum requirement of 4 caches for that area has been met.

(Last Update: September 25, 2007 10:00 PM)

Name Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Area 5 Area 6 Area 7 Area 8 Total
Moun10Bike 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
NewLifeLawn                 unk.
dshifter       4 1 1 2 1 9
IDLookout 3 3             6
ISplash       4 1       5
Ogeo       5 1       6
Mr.Explorer3                 unk.
WR7X       1 1 2 3   7
Grbaach   2       1 3 2 8

Moun10Bike's progress as of August 13, 2007 (map from Moun10Bike -thanks!)

"The Lookout Tower"
Verse by Paul Croy

I rear a sturdy silhouette
Against a mountain-shouldered sky;
I mark the wheeling stars that lose
Their brilliance in a morning sky.
I brace my knees against the winds
That hold their races miles high,
And when the lightning scores my steel,
I ground it as I dare the sky.
I house a pair of weathered eyes,
Whose sole responsibility
Is pledged to look, and look, and look;
A lighthouse in a verdant sea.

The winter gales that sweep in blasts
Across my vast domain,
Make of me a ghostly thing
Against the winter's sunset stain.
The driving winds with sleet, and snow
Encase my metal limbs,
And seal as in an alpine tomb
The emptiness within.
The first chinook that sweeps the peaks
Dissolves my frosty 'guise,
And I await the lazy days
To bask beneath the summer skies.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)