South Mountain Lookout

South Mountain Lookout is one of the few lookouts operated by the Bureau of Land Management. This lookout site in the far southwestern corner of Idaho was first established with a cabin in 1933. The current two-story cement and frame tower was built in 1964. It is staffed during the fire season and at over 7800 feet in elevation overlooks a huge swath of the Owyhee country.

Joe Burch, school teacher and fire lookout

School teacher Joe Burch recently spent a summer working on this remote tower.

"It's just a really good summer job. I enjoy the country, I grew up here. It's nice to have the quiet after the school year. And there's a lot to see here, a lot of nature, I enjoy that. There's a little bit of everything in the Owyhees and I like that you can get away. You can see so far from here it never gets boring."
— Joe Burch, school teacher and fire lookout