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Big Hole Peak Lookout Traditional Geocache

2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Cache is located at the Big Hole Peak Lookout, elevation of 6922 feet.  From Highway 200 take Forest road 887 (Weeksville) approximately 3.5 mile to the junction with the Big Hole Peak road 5587.  Follow 5587 for approximately 9.5 miles to the Big Hole Peak Trailhead near the gate on road 5587. Follow Trail 368T approximately 2.5 miles to the Lookout.  Trail grade is fairly gentle, though the last quarter mile is a little steep. Trail is non-motorize.

Container is a large (3lbs) plastic coffee can with cool mule pins, buckin' horse belt buckle, bug towelette, log, pencil, information about Big Hole Peak Lookout and lookouts in general. Roads are gravel with some stretches of some fairly large potholes so cars are not advised. Light pickups or SUVs will be fine. Big Hole Lookout on the Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest is back to life after last being staffed in 1972. The log based “Grange Hall” style lookout had sat on its 6922 foot mountain top with no maintenance for over 40 years. After five years, 2013-2017, the project to restore the lookout is complete and the lookout will be available for rent on the cabin rental program in 2021. The project was a collective effort that included my Wild Horse Plains Back Country Horsemen (WHPBCH)chapter. But, without a doubt, the credit goes to the Passport in Time (PIT) volunteers and the Lolo Archeologists (Sydney Bacon -1st year and Erika Karuzas –years 2-5) that did all the real work and organized the entire project. Along with Sydney or Erika, folks from the Region 1 Preservation group, the PIT volunteers stayed in a spike camp near the lookout for 2 weeks each summer restoring the lookout. Though our group members helped out with some of the onsite restoration our primary role was daily packing support based out of the basecamp 2.5 miles down the trail from the lookout. Restoration has been completed from top to bottom of the lookout starting with replacing or repairing the logs on which the lookout sits to the cedar shake roof. The interior flooring, wall siding and ceiling was removed, hardware cloth to installed to keep out rodents, then either replaced or painted with numerous fresh coats of paint and reinstalled. All the windows were removed, taken to the Region 1 Historic Preservation workshop in Missoula, and totally restored. A new stove and stove pipe were installed and Historic Preservation Team shop built all new replica furniture. Outside lightening protection was replaced, new shutters built and installed, gable ends replaced with new material and coats of fresh white paint applied. In 2019 WHPBCH installed a highline for stock users and donated close to $1000 worth of furnishings (cots, lanterns, chairs, pots, pans, etc.) to ready the lookout for its introduction to the Cabin rental program in 2021. In 2021 we’ll continue with thinning and piling of trees that have encroached around the lookout during the last forty years in order to enhance the view and provide some protection from wildfires. To see videos about the great work completed in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 produced by Libby Langston, go to , , and ,

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Fheirl fnlf "benatr ebpxf!"

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)