Stranger Mountain Lookout
US 474, WA 49

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 474, WA 49 (view other lookouts in United States, Washington)
Date Registered March 1, 2003
Location Stevens County, Washington
Coordinates N 48° 10.879' W 117° 59.400' (view using Google Maps)
N 48° 10' 53" W 117° 59' 24"
N 48.181310° W 117.990000°
Elevation 5,782 ft (1,762 m)
Administered by Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Cooperators Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

Description

No stranger to lookouts, Stensgar Mountain was first used for fire detection in 1930 when a platform tower and cabin were built by the Washington Division of Forestry. Somewhere over the years Stensgar morphed into Stranger Mountain Lookout, and no less than four structures have occupied the site. The original platform tower was replaced by a 50' pole tower with L-6 cab in 1936. That in turn was replaced by DNR flattop live-in cab with catwalk on a 40' wooden tower in 1959 which only 24 years later was replaced with the current updated DNR flattop cab on a 42' wooden tower in 1983.

Additional information courtesy of Ray Kresek: "Stranger ("Stensgar" on most maps), a DNR live-in lookout tower near Chewelah, WA was successfully moved intact 30 miles from atop the mountain to the Colville fairgrounds last month without as much as a broken window, after two years of negotiations with the DNR. It had to be removed from the mountain. In a dream-come-true fashion, Stevens County Fair manager Lori Matlock was able to fit the use of nearly a dozen pieces of donated heavy machinery into a fine tuned clockwork that made it all happen. A boom crane, on the mountaintop to install a new Homeland Security facility, was able to pluck the entire cab and catwalk off its 40' wooden tower. A large DNR flatbed truck received it for the first leg of the trip. A couple miles down the steep, narrow road off the summit, a larger truck and lowboy trailer, loaned by a local logging contractor, hauled the twenty foot wide load via all of the backroads into downtown Colville. Waiting at the fairgrounds were 2 giant forklifts from a local sawmill, to gently set it on the ground. The tower's original legs were re-set on concrete piers, cut off at 13'; and a few days later there just happened to be another construction crane available at 4pm. It took but a few minutes, and the Stranger Lookout tower was up in the air again. Total cost: $25. The rest was all donated."

Map

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Photos

Stranger Mountain Lookout at Colville Fairgrounds 2008

Stranger Mountain Lookout at Colville Fairgrounds 2008

Visit Reports

Rod Fosback

Condition

Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? No Response
Condition of wood OK? No Response
Stairs OK? No Response
Glass intact? No Response
Comments: Since Dave Bula’s visit to Stranger Mountain Lookout in 2004 (Washington), there have been a few changes. The structure is still very sound and would be an easy fix to get it back up and running. Since the Washington State DNR has left it in an apparent abandoned state (and not locked up), the temptation to vandalize it apparently was too great. Missing is one of two lightning rods (aerial) as well as the final connection to ground on all four corners where the aluminum cables were connected to copper cables leading into the earth. In other words, the lightning protection has been disabled by vandals seeking to profit from the selling of copper. Joy seekers have tossed out all the furnishings over the side as well as several of the shutters. The electric stove took a big hit but some of the wooden furniture could be restored. The shutters can be repaired as the boards did not break, only came un-nailed. A couple of the windows are broken allowing pack rats to invade. It will need the carpet ripped out and the interior cleaned in addition to the glass replaced. A couple of weekends by volunteers or equivalent and it would be as good as new. <br /> <br /> <br />Rod Fosback

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No

Staffing

Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response

May 29, 2004: Dave Bula

Condition

Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Comments: Unable to determine condition of glass, since the cab is boarded up, but they're likely ok. Tower and cab appear to have been kept in excellent condition.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? Yes

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No
Comments? No gates. Did not wish to post NHLR sign without having received permission from DNR. Don't know if listing was done without concurrence or not. I will be looking into this.

Staffing

Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response