Just the name MoonPass Lookouts is evocative. These Airbnbs set on 55 acres in the forests of Wallace, Idaho, will let you watch the moon pass by overhead—while elevated 30 feet in the air in custom-built fire lookout towers.
You will soon be able to book one of these five towers, covered with a glass roof for intense stargazing. The roof will be made of smart glass that turns solid at the touch of a button, to block out UV rays when the weather turns hot (and for privacy from drones?). Besides the beautifully forested site, there’s a creek and pond and you’ll be 30 miles from Hiawatha trail (a former railroad turned into a trail) and seven miles to historic downtown Wallace.
These woods were the site of a historic fire, the Great Fire of 1910—one of the largest forest fires in U.S. history—and a public Ray Kresek Fire Lookout Museum will be built alongside the towers for an immersive, educational experience. Retired Spokane Fire Lieutenant Ray Kresek has already opened a Fire Lookout Museum in Spokane, WA, which holds in its collections of 14,000 objects three lookout towers, a vintage fire truck, 60 Woodsy Owl items and what may be the world’s largest collection of Smokey Bear memorabilia.
You can hike five miles from MoonPass Lookouts to view the abandoned prospector’s mine shaft where Ed Pulaski led his fire crew to safety when the Great Fire got out of control.
The towers will offer modern-day comfort despite the rustic appearance from the ground, with a full-size bed, kitchen, bathrooms, wood-burning stove and solar power for charging phones. Step outside (and down) to the sauna, fire pit, ax throwing area, hiking trails, and a fishing pond. MoonPass Lookouts is the brainchild of Kristie Wolfe, who’s created a handful of other extraordinary Airbnbs, like the Big Island Treehouse in Mountain View, Hawaii; the Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise (crafted out of a six-ton fake potato: no joke); the Crystal Peak Lookout in Fernwood, Idaho; and the Hobbit Inn in Orondo, Washington.
These two-person lookout towers are part of a new venture for Wolfe, who has launched a crowdfunding campaign to build them. If you donate, you’re essentially booking a later visit at a discounted rate (up to 50 percent off—and you’ll be one of the first ones who get to stay there!). Construction begins this fall with a projected opening in spring 2024.