FS should consider options
May 21, 2020
After reading the Priscilla Peak articles in today’s Ledger by John Hamilton it is obvious that the decision to move the lookout to Driveway Peak has been cast in stone. I wonder how many government hours/dollars have been spent just to formulate the plan. I have enclosed my comment letter to the Project Leader
“While I agree that the Priscilla Peak Lookout is quite unique and definitely deserves to be preserved, I feel quite sure that if the lookout was put back in the rental program today it would be quite popular. Although the lookout was seldom booked when it was available in the 1990’s, things are drastically different today due to the internet booking. There are literally thousands of hikers from all over the country who would jump at the chance to hike into the beautiful backcountry of northwest Montana for a stay at the lookout.
I’m 74 years old and hiked up the Sundance Ridge trail just a couple years ago and felt it was one of the best wide open trails in the area. I had just wished that I was on a horse and could keep following that trail onward to Marmot Peak and on to Mount Headley. That’s the “Real Montana”.
Moving that unique cupola style lookout to a drive-up location such as Driveway Peak where every fat slob with a pickup can access it seems almost criminal. There are already plenty of drive up lookouts for the people who bring in their Coleman lanterns and coolers full of beer.
If the Forest Service insists on removing the lookout from Sundance Ridge, there are several nearby peaks which previously had lookouts and require less of a hike to access. I would recommend Cube Iron or Headley. On the southern side of the river I might suggest Penrose or Cherry Peak. They are all relatively easy hikes.
The Forest Service could put in a $500 A-Frame and a port-a-potty on Driveway Peak and it would be booked solid for the season. However, that is no place for the Priscilla Peak Lookout. I reiterate, some things should require a little physical effort.”