Dee Wright Observatory – Lane County, Oregon - Atlas Obscura

Dee Wright Observatory

Lane County, Oregon

While it is not equipped to peer into outer space this observatory looks like it was built on the moon. 


Looking more like a primitive lava rock castle than a scenic lookout, the Dee Wright Observatory offers lovely views of the surrounding peaks through a structure that seems to naturally rise up from the jagged stones around it.

Named after a foreman that died the year previous to the finishing of the structure, the observatory was built Civilian Conservation Corp during the Great Depression in 1935. Using the same rough lava rock that surrounds the entire site, it was placed specifically so that it could offer a view of each of the numerous peaks of the nearby Cascade range. The rocky shelter features a number of viewing windows, some of which were specifically aligned to capture views of specific peaks. Beneath each targeting window is the name of the peak which can be viewed from it.    

The upper level of the observatory also has a brass compass that points visitors towards each of the surrounding peaks once again naming them.

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