My Grandmother's house is only a few miles below the turnout to the road that leads to the lookout. I've hiked all over the mountains and seen the lookout many times, but never had taken the opportunity to visit it until this summer. I'm glad I did. The drive up the main road is pretty easy but I parked at the turnoff to the lookout. My pickup, like most modern pickups, is huge and not as much fun on the usually narrow, and very steep roads around the mountains. I made the right choice too. There were a few areas where without a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw, I flat would not have been able to drive through. A narrow side by side or ATV would be quite ideal, however.
From the turnoff, it's about a two mile hike to the tower. The walk is pretty easy, though there are plenty of opportunities for your heart to beat harder with the steepness of the road. But, I like challenging hikes, so this was totally enjoyable. There's still fire damage in the area, but the scenery is pretty. The views are, as expected, incredible!
My family has a history with the lookouts in that area, as my Aunt spent several years manning the Tunk Mountain Lookout starting around 1955. In 1960, she filled in for two weeks on the Buck Mountain Lookout, while the regular person was on vacation.
Here are a couple shots from the walkway. It's only about 20' up, but you still get a feeling of being on top of the world!
Here are two interior shots.
Lastly, this photo of the cistern. The cistern? Yes. The cistern. It is important because during the time my Aunt was stationed on the lookout, my mom (her younger sister), stopped by to visit. During one of the hot days, my mom climbed in the cistern to cool off. From what I understand, there is a photo in our family archives of her in it. I will show it if I can find it. (And you can bet I'm going to be looking for it! Ha ha mom!)