Lookout Mountain is ranked near the bottom of the Oregon Prominence List with 1,000 ft of prominence at #466, but there is a reason to question this ranking. Carpenter Mountain is about 4.5 miles north of Lookout Mountain and has a surveyed elevation of 5,349 ft. Lookout Mountain has not been surveyed and the highest contour on the topo is 5,320 ft. That means it is at least 5,320 ft but may be as high as 5,359 ft. If Lookout Mountain is higher than Carpenter’s 5,349 ft, then Lookout Mountain would steal the prominence from Carpenter and would be listed in the Oregon 2,000 ft Prominence Peaks in the place of Carpenter Mountain. I guess Lookout Mountain should be included as one of the Error Range Peaks that should be climbed if you trying to climb the top prominence peaks in Oregon.
Lookout Mountain is located in west central Oregon in northern Lane County and is in the Willamette National Forest. This mountain can be climbed on the same day as Carpenter Mountain and much of the same access information can be used here as well. My friend Dean gave me the okay to use some of his info from Carpenter Mountain. I’ve used his information liberally in the sections below.
For details on the hiking trail see the Route information.
From I-5 near Eugene, take highway 126 and head east towards Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge. However, a few miles before Rainbow you pass the small town of Blue River. From Blue River proceed east 2.5 miles on Hwy. 126, turn left onto USFS Rd. #15 for 3.5 miles north which is on the east side of the Blue River Lake (a reservoir). At the north end of the lake, start watching for FS road 1506 and turn right onto it and follow it east. At 7 miles, stay right on 1506. At 10.0 miles you come to FS road 350 on your left (north). If you turn left here you and follow it 6 miles you will be at the trailhead for Carpenter Mountain. For Lookout Mountain continue straight ahead on FS road 1506. Road 1506 gently turns from going east to heading south. You can see Lookout Mountain on your right or west as you continue up the road. At 15.2 miles from Hwy 126, look for a wide spot on this nice gravel road on the south side. This is at a little saddle at elevation 4330 ft and there is parking for a couple of cars here. This is the trailhead for Lookout Mountain, but it is not marked. If you get up to Frissel Point, you have gone too far.
No red tape, no northwest forest pass required, no fires permitted.
To get more information on the area and campgrounds:
Mc Kenzie River Ranger District
57600 McKenzie Hwy
McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413
Summer hours: 7 days a week Memorial Day - Columbus Day
Regular hours: Monday-Friday 8-4:30
There are quite a few camping areas in the area.
Delta Campground near McKensie Bridge is a fee campground with 38 campsites.
Mona Campground near the north end of Blue River Lake is also a fee campground with close to 30 spots.
Of course there are other campgrounds in the area and there are places near the trail head where off road camping looks to be a possibility.
The mountain is not accessible in the Winter and Spring because of snow. During the Summer and Fall, the area is subject to thunderstorms and you should check the weather forecast before hiking. The closest towns are Blue River and McKenzie Bridge on Hwy 126.