“views for miles and miles”
The Clay Butte Lookout was built in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and was staffed until the 1960s, when aircraft proved a better tool for fire detection. Because of its popular scenic vantage point and proximity to the Beartooth Highway, Clay Butte continued to be used as a visitor information site. It was remodeled in 1962 and has been staffed since 1975 by volunteers. The focus of Clay Butte today is to give visitors a glimpse of how fire lookouts functioned 60 years ago. Sightseers driving the scenic byway stop to obtain information or take in the view, which includes wildlife, botanical areas, the effects of the Clover-Mist wildfire of 1988, and the geology of ancient seas that once covered the Beartooth Plateau.
Half the fun of this stop is driving up the 3 miles of gravel road to get there… Once an active fire lookout, now it’s more of a visitor center with views of Granite Peak and Beartooth Butte as well as displays telling the history of the 1988 wildfires of Yellowstone.
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Clay Butte Lookout Tower
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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