About Tocher Ridge Lookout

(Photo copied notes passed on from Joe, Not sure of source.)


The Tocher Ridge site was identified as a secondary location in a survey of out of the way places of the park in Arvid Backman's 1941 report. He wrote "only one lookout is needed for covering the Amiskwi River Valley. It should be built on a ridge between Otto Creek and Amiskwi River, for from there the Amiskwi is apparently visible from the Kicking Horse River to Amiskwi Pass." 28  The site was recommenced again in 1960 but it was another five years before action was taken to build a lookout here and close down the station at Mt. King. The lookout failed to spot the big Amiskwi fire of 1971.


Plans were based on drawings made for a lookout in Terra Nova National Park by the Engineering and Architecture Branch of the Canadian Parks Service. This lookout, with its obliquely sloping windows, is the most modern looking of existing lookouts. The exterior is weathered and much of the original metal cladding has been removed. The interior is well preserved with furniture and equipment left over from its days as an active lookout before 1972.


This is the most remote of the Yoho lookouts and accessible to day hikers. The setting is rocky, with little vegetation and is completely unchanged. A concrete cistern and outhouse form part of the site. The trail connects to the former site of the Beaverfoot [??] warden station.


History: Low (recent)
Architecture: Medium (atypical example)
Environment Medium (original setting but is not a landmark)

Heritage Character Statement

A unique example of the three surviving lookouts in the mountain parks. This was the only one of this design to be built in the west. It lacks strong historical associations because of its late construction date and because it was only in use for seven years. The original sheathing has been removed and could be replaced. The interior furnishings have historical significance.


28 Jasper National Parks, file J 190. Arvid Backman, Report on Lookout-Tower Visibility-Surveys Western National Parks 1941, p.23