Buchanan Lookout – Kaslo

After our day on the Lardeau River ended, we wanted to capitalize on the wonderful weather and remaining daylight. We drove back into Kaslo and swung by Angry Hen Brewing to grab a crowler for a drive up to the Buchanan Lookout.

Located 7.5 miles up a rough, narrow, and steep access road, the Buchanan Lookout sits perched above Kaslo. Used as a fire lookout for the forest service from the 1940s to 1982, the Buchanan Lookout is now a day-use recreation site with a short hiking loop and a smattering of picnic tables. From a height of 6,272 feet, the 360 degree views from the peak are worth the slightly harrowing drive.

Some bluebonnet-hued lupine
Mt. Loki

We were surprised to find ourselves alone at the top. After so many obstructed views over the last several days of our trip, it was spectacular to see everything around us. We gazed at the vistas first from the parking area and then from the catwalk of the lookout tower. The tower that stands today was renovated in 2012 to meet current safety standards. While the interior isn’t accessible, it has been decorated as it would have appeared during the 1950s and 60s. It looked to me like a lonely existence, to Zach a romantic summer job.

From the catwalk, the views were unparalleled. We could gawk in every direction. No matter which way we looked, we were surrounded by mountains.

Zach enjoys the view to the south (and our crowler)
The sun obscured our view west
Our view north: Blue Ridge and the Purcell Mountains
Our view east: the Purcells with Kootenay Lake

We remained at the lookout for an hour soaking in the infinite-seeming panorama. It was a fantastic way to end our day outside. Back in Kaslo, we had dinner at Taqueria El Corazon. We scarfed down our delectable tacos, resisted the temptation of a margarita, and retreated to our Airbnb to plan the next day’s adventure.

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