Cody Butte

Okanogan Highlands | Kettle River Range

Colville Indian Reservation

Location: 48.34145, -118.662496
Summit Elevation: 4,764′
Lookout Type: 45′ steel Aermotor tower
Site Established: 1931
Current Structure Built: 1931
Date Visited: 5/25/19

I absolutely loved my visit to Cody Butte in the Colville. This area is stunningly beautiful, filled with wildflowers in May and boasts big views of the surrounding gorgeous country. What struck me most about Cody was the incredible silence when I was there.

Photos from 2019.


Not much history seems to exist out there on Cody, but I did find an article in the Colville Examiner from 1943 that talks of many teachers employed as summer fire lookouts across the Colville National Forest, one being Miss Ellen Adams from Mason City at Cody Butte.

Aermotor steel towers were built by the Aermotor Company of Chicago, IL, founded in 1888. In the 1920s, a few steel towers started showing up in the Pacific Northwest and in the 1930s, several more were built predominantly east of the Cascades.

In 2021, Cody was only a few miles west of the nearly 50,000 acre lightning-caused Summit Trail fire in the Colville.

The route.

Distance (RT): 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 488′
Summit Elevation: 4,764′

It’s possible to drive nearly to Cody’s summit but the road becomes steep, rocky, and rough, so I chose to park and enjoy a nice short hike to the summit. The route is filled with beautiful wildflowers, gorgeous views, and wonderful solitude.

The ground house has seen far better days and the tower floor isn’t the most robust so I’d exercise caution when venturing up the tower.


Cody can be approached from either the north from Republic or the south from Keller on US Highway 21. From Keller, drive north on 21 approximately 14 miles to a right turn on Thirtymile Road. Take a slight left on BIA 76, which eventually becomes Cody Butte Road, and follow the road 5 miles to the lookout. The last mile or so of road becomes very rough, so most people park below and hike the last mile up. The surrounding country is so beautiful I certainly would recommend it!

Note: To visit Colville Confederated Tribal land, non-tribal members must now purchase a recreation permit for $80/annually. Passes may be purchased online.