[media-credit id=4 align=”alignleft” width=”297″][/media-credit]By Melissa Wynn –

Black Mountain Lookout…

Ever thought about trying out your survival skills? Maybe venturing into the woods somewhere for some big doses of solitude? Well, we may have an easy way out for you.  One of the best kept secrets is the fact that you can actually stay in a Forest Service fire lookout. This particular one is a little over an hour’s highway drive from Reno on US Highway 395. You will enjoy some of the comforts of home as you pack in your own water and supplies for this vacation like no other.

Spring is fast approaching which means the Forest Service will be taking reservations for seasonal accommodations and Black Mountain Lookout is sure to sell out quickly. This unique lodging opportunity was an actual functioning fire lookout until the 1980s. It is now quite possibly the coolest getaway in the great basin area.

Located eight miles southeast of Milford off of US 395  and perched at 7161 feet this single story 10- foot tower offers sweeping 360 degree views of Honey Lake and Last Chance Creek.  Two beds comfortably sleep 4 with camping room for an additional 4 to sleep outside beneath the stars. A small electric stove, refrigerator and electric heater are included to add some comforts of home to the cabin. A BBQ pit and picnic table are located outdoors. A dry sink is also provided in the kitchen area but water is not.  Be sure to bring enough water for your stay.

Not only is a stay at Black Mountain Lookout a one-of-a-kind  adventure, it is an economic steal at just $60 per night. Black Mountain Lookout is available for rent from Memorial Day through November 30th, weather permitting, of course. Reservations are anticipated to be available as of March 1st. Contact the Beckwourth Ranger District at 530-836-2575 or visit them online when available  at www.recreation.gov. Reservations will be made on a first come-first serve basis, so make yours soon to ensure your spot at this awesome retreat.