Last week my wife and I had a mini vacation out in the wilds of Idaho at Kristie Wolfe’s Crystal Peak Lookout.
It is located outside of Fernwood, Idaho, a very small town about 20 miles south of St. Maries, Idaho and around 70 miles south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The drive out to the lookout included a 4.5-mile dirt road up the mountain and then a steep 1/4 mile driveway which requires a 4-wheel drive to make it to the base of the lookout.
We arrived fairly late in the day with a rainstorm brewing and darkness not far away.
With the help of a pulley and large wire basket, we brought up our supplies. We then did a tour of the immediate area to find the composting outhouse and fire pit and sauna locations.
The outhouse is a new structure made of logs with a nice composting toilet located 50 feet from the lookout.
It started to rain and the temperature was dropping so I lit the wood stove. Kristie has a nice welcoming gift of a note and a small stack of kindling and paper to start your first fire in the stove. This was very thoughtful and helpful!
We decided to just have a light supper and settle in as the storm began to build up. We had some strong wind, rain and a little thunder. We had brought some table games so played them by the light of my headlamp.
Crystal Peak Lookout is off grid. There are some solar powered lights and a cell phone charger on the lookout. A camping stove is available for cooking and the wood stove for heat. As it was the 2nd day in October and the night was cold we decided to keep the wood burning stove going most of the night.
Split dry firewood is stacked in the lookout next to the stove so it was easy to keep the fire going and the lookout warm.
The next morning we got up to changed weather. The storm had moved on and a beautiful sunrise greeted us.
I stoked up the fire in the stove and put a tea kettle of water on to start the coffee. The lookout includes a hand-powered coffee grinder and a drip coffee maker for your morning brew.
After our coffee, I prepared blueberry pancakes on the wood stove using the cast iron skillet. They turned out great!
We decided to explore the property a bit and go for a walk. The fall colors were brilliant, and we enjoyed the natural quiet of the woods.
We had a light snack for lunch and then started to prepare to enjoy the sauna. With the kindling I’d split earlier it was easy to get the little wood stove going in the sauna. Then it was a matter of keeping it fed and getting the sauna up to temperature. You want it between 100 and 140 degrees. You then just add water to make the steam on the rocks and enjoy!
After our relaxing sauna, we played some more games and then started heating up the stove. This evening we were planning to enjoy tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches fixed on the stove using the cast iron pot and skillet supplied in the lookout.
The colorful sunset was a beautiful ending to this very special adventure.
I highly recommend going on an off-grid excursion, and, if possible in a tiny house situation such as Crystal Peak Lookout. It was nice to stay off of the computer and have limited cell service. It was wonderful to hear the quiet of nature and enjoy each other’s company.
To follow Crystal Peak Lookout on Instagram go to @crystalpeaklookout.
To book it on AirBnB go HERE.
Thank you Kristie Wolfe for your hard work and creativity in making such a unique and restful getaway!