On a high, narrow mountain ridge at 5,280 feet, Bear Basin Lookout and Pierson Cabin offer visitors an awe-inspiring experience and a quiet haven away from crowds. Excellent views of the Siskiyou Wilderness to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west are why visitors love staying in the heart of the Six Rivers National Forest of northern California. The current lookout building was previously situated at Camp Six, where it was used to spot forest fires. That structure was moved from Camp Six to Bear Basin Butte in 1996. The original Bear Basin Butte lookout existed in the 1930s. During the summer and early fall months (July 1 – September 30), the rental includes both the lookout tower and a modern 1930s-style cabin built in the 1990s. This is a remote location. Access to the cabin is variable and the road is not maintained for winter use. High-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, and guests are also advised to carry chains and a shovel. Guests should note that even during the summer, the paved portion of the road (South Fork Road) frequently has numerous rocks and debris. The last half mile of the access is on a steep gravel road. Quality tires and high-clearance vehicles are recommended. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities. This facility is located in a remote and wild area, far from any services; before making a reservation, become aware of weather and travel safety, especially if visiting during the fall, winter, or spring. Road and weather conditions are unpredictable. Always be prepared for changing conditions and carry a map, tire chains, and snow shovel. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Access roads are steep and narrow; the last one mile to the cabin is gravel. If a low-elevation storm is predicted, be sure to park facing the vehicle downhill before reaching the snow zone. It is the responsibility of the cabin guest to arrange for towing if their vehicle gets stuck in snow. No electricity or water is available at either facility; guests should be prepared to bring their own water. The rental accommodates eight guests; an additional fee of $5 per person per night is charged for additional guests, up to a maximum of 12 people. This additional fee is payable directly to the Forest Service at the time of key pickup. Access to cabin is by key; contact (707) 457-3131 during regular business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to arrange pickup at the Smith River Visitor Center in Gasquet, CA. The lookout and cabin are closed on or around October 1st each year to protect the building from damaging winds. Weather is unpredictable, and in some cases, when a strong storm is predicted to arrive before October 1st, the lookout may close early. The Pierson Cabin will still be available. Please call the Smith River NRA Visitor Center for the most current information. No pets are allowed in either building, but pets are allowed outside. All vehicles, including OHVs and snowmobiles, must remain on designated routes and obey all closure orders. A Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is available from the Smith River National Recreation Area Visitor Center or at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/srnf/maps-pubs/?cid=STELPRDB5080418&width=full . Always check the MVUM before traveling on routes where use is not clearly marked. In general, cancellation policies apply even if you find yourself unable to reach your destination! Again, it is your responsibility to arrange for your travel and safety!
Don’t Move Firewood: Please protect your National Forest by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of your western forest. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org.for further information.
- ADA Accessible
- Fire Pit
- Food Locker
- Picnic Table