A room with a view: camp overnight at a fire lookout tower

A few weeks ago, friends and I hiked to the top of a local mountain range, and picnicked beside a fire lookout tower. Quite the view. That’s exactly why it’s home to a fire lookout tower, after all.

Which makes the next thing that I learned pretty nifty: you can camp overnight at some of these towers.

For only $25-75 per night, you can practically have a whole mountain to yourself (or at least feel like it). I haven’t stayed at any myself, but I’m imagining them as a camper or hiker’s dream–no neighbors singing camp songs til the wee hours, and you have a jump start on the trails in the morning.

Some are set atop high platforms and others are more low to the ground. Many can only be reached by foot, and you’re not guaranteed running water or electricity, but you’ll often find a mattress and a propane or wood-burning stove there.

You can check out the options on the National Historic Lookout Register and then rent them through Recreation.gov. The rentable towers are not in every state; of the states with towers for rent, Idaho seems to come in the cheapest at $25/night.