In the winter when Flag Point Lookout is available, the trip in (time/distance/mode) all depend on the road conditions—basically how low is the snow (elevation), how deep the snow is (do you have 4-wheel drive, do you have good tires) and the quality of the snow (can you ski or do you have to snowshoe instead). In a bad year it could take six hours or more to get there, in a good year, 2 hours or less. The tower is furnished: one soiled and clapped-out mattres, a table and chairs, an island-style bar and two stools in the center of the room, a wood burning stove and a kitchen sink; including dishes, pans and a kettle. In a cupboard above the sink we found many cans of food including Hormel Chili. In a book shelf under the bar counter-top we found board games including Yahtzee!, and books including an outdated (as in quaint) Survival Manual. During the day we climbed the neighbor’s place (an antenna tower), took turns shooting pine cones at each other with the one sling shot and wandered around in the woods to the east looking for an alleged spring. At night we played board games, drank hot chocolate, drank, smoked marijuana and held a dance party – during which we placed, for acoustical optimization, our iPhones in a large metal soup pot when it was our time to DJ.
The hike in depends on snow conditions and how far up the gravel road you can drive. If you have to stop and park on the main (paved) road the hike in/out is 8 miles long. The further up the gravel access road you get, the shorter your hike. Cross-country skis are perfect if conditions permit. Many also snowshoe in. Toyota stunts courtesy of Ethan Furniss.
On the ground beneath the Fire Tower there are a number small Forest Service buildings and a rustic outhouse.
Pine cones for ammunition. Outside of viewing, eating and sleeping, and managing the wood burning stove, and the playing of childhood board games, there is a natural spring you can hike to.
A view roughly one mile before the last set of switchbacks and the final approach.
Ethan Furniss, booking for no apparent reason.
Shorty Peak Lookout
Nowhere on earth ever had the density of lookouts that northern Idaho had at this time.