Little Soldier Lookout
US 545, ID 40

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 545, ID 40 (view other lookouts in United States, Idaho)
Date Registered February 12, 2004
Nominated by Constantinos Bouras (Dino)
Location Salmon Challis National Forest
Custer County, Idaho
Coordinates N 44° 42.547' W 115° 05.477' (view using Google Maps)
N 44° 42' 33" W 115° 05' 29"
N 44.709120° W 115.091280°
Elevation 8,745 ft (2,665 m)
Built 1934
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators Middle Fork Ranger District


Located in the northwest corner of the Challis National Forest and overlooking the River of No Return Wilderness, Little Soldier lookout was built in 1934. The 14’x14’ hip roof L-4 groundhouse with catwalk was on emergency status for a number of years but is again in active service.

The interior of the tower features a cirle fire finder atop a wooden stand in the middle of the floor. The windows on all four sides are comprised of windowpane sections. On the north side of the room is a wood shelf that holds the table radio. There is a black wood stove, and built-in shelves on the opposite side of the room. There are four heavy wood shutters raised and anchored to the deck by rebar-like structures. There is a small door on the south side of the structure. A wood deck wraps around the four sides of the lookout. Several old cement steps lead down to a wood hitching post. A small wood shed, and an outhouse comprise the other structures at the site.

Since Little Soldier is at a lower elevation, there are pine trees in close proximity, and the hillsides are covered in mountains grasses and sage. The main trail leading to the lookout is a steep ten mile ascent of deeply rutted switchbacks from the Indian Creek Ranger Station on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River via foot/horseback. There is a ridge trail that leads to a water pipe in a grove of thick pines that's frequented by wildlife and used as a game trail. The trail passes by the lookout, and it's common to see game near the deck. There's a long sloping saddle at the south side of the site and vast mountain ranges for as far as the eye can see in every direction. It's a 'remote' lookout with no road access. Fire lookout personnel must pack provisions in for the entire season. L.S. lookout is a peaceful and serene setting.

Lookout Christa Everett staffed this site in 1988 and 1989.


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