Kalispell, MT, September 6, 2022 — The Flathead National Forest, Glacier Institute, and Northwest Montana Lookout Association invite you to celebrate Hornet Lookout’s 100th birthday.
The event will take place at the Big Creek Outdoor Education Center on Saturday, September 10 from 10 am to 2 pm. Activities will include a cross-cut saw demonstration, local area history presentation, Forest information, a chance to chat with a current fire lookout, and a visit from Smokey Bear.
The event will also unveil a brand-new poster created by local artist and Northwest Montana Lookout Association Board Member Pete Thomas. Pete is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and writer based out of Whitefish, MT. For nearly 30 years he has combined his love and passion for the outdoors with his creative pursuits. The Hornet poster will kick off a new art series featuring lookouts in the region.
A tour of the lookout will also be facilitated by Glacier Institute. Tour busses will depart from Big Creek at 10:00 am. The bus ride is approximately 1.5 hours long and will be filled with information on the history of the area. The hike to the lookout is around one mile where guests can tour the lookout and have the hands-on experience of the lifestyle. If you would like to book the tour, you can register here
After the Great Fire of 1910 burned portions of the North Fork, the Forest Service had renewed interest in developing forest fire protection and fighting measures such as fire lookouts. Beloved Hornet Lookout was designed by Dwight L. Beatty and constructed in 1922-1923. It was in operation as an active fire lookout tower from 1923-1946. In 1983, Hornet Lookout was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and restoration efforts have occurred through the years. In 1991 the Lookout became available to rent as part of the public cabin rental program, and every year many visitors make the one-mile trek to visit the iconic lookout tower.