Eagle Pass Mountain lookout was built in 1921 by the Dominion Forestry Branch, which administered the forest lands in BC’s Railway Belt. It was the first of four 12 x 12-foot cabins, built of mortared stone and topped by a pyramidal hip roof, built by the Branch in the mountains between Sicamous and Revelstoke. And it was a significant undertaking, involving the construction of 13 miles (21 km) of trail suitable for pack horses (at a cost of $1791) and telephone line ($2254), the lookout cabin ($1380), and an overnight cabin halfway along the trail ($210).
Senior Fire Ranger John “Jack” Mizon of Malakwa located the trail, the lower half of which followed old logging rail grades up Crazy Creek valley from the village of Taft; he also oversaw the construction of the lookout. His son Christopher was hired to pack supplies, being paid $1.10 per day for his horse plus 10 cents for shoeing it.
Eagle Pass Mountain lookout opened on top of the prominent 7700-foot (2311 m) peak in 1922. J. H. “Jack” Aubrey is said to be the first lookout man; certainly he is known to have occupied the lookout between 1924 and 28, earning $120 per month. The lookout was active until 1931; closed by the impacts of the Great Depression, it never re-opened. The vacant cabin stood proud until its roof was swept away by heavy snow sometime before 1975, leaving only the 4-foot-high lower walls.
The ruins were visited by a growing number of visitors that hiked or sledded the old pack trail, until in 2016 two local outdoor enthusiasts built a new shelter on top of the stone walls, believing that they had received verbal permission from the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRORD). But in a controversial decision, the Ministry issued a stop-work order on the nearly completed structure and fined one of the two men $20,000. After Rec Sites and Trails BC (the agency that administers the trail and lookout site) convened a working group to consider all options for the lookout site and the illegal structure, it made the (again controversial) decision to dismantle the new cabin, which is scheduled for summer 2022.
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