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In Honor of World Toilet Day, Tell Us: What Backcountry Outhouse Has the Best View?

Folks, lots of holidays are lining up on the calendar, but don't sit this one out: Saturday (Nov. 19) is World Toilet Day.

Desolation PeakLet me guess; some of you feel relieved to hear this news. Actually, as this entertaining post from tech news provider CNET tells it, World Toilet Day (which comes complete with an official song) also has a serious side: Clean sanitation facilities are not a given in several parts of the planet.

But CNET also points out, this is a fine time to "praise the privy," so we have to ask: What's the best view you have ever enjoyed from a wilderness sanitation, uh, facility?

My vote goes to the wall-less sit-down bucket of boards found not far from the Indian Bar trail shelter on the Wonderland Trail on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park.

Near Angels Landing, ZionPlus, if you need any tips for offloading in the backcountry, check out the much-acclaimed final word on the topic, How to S*** in the Woods, a legitimate classic of outdoor lit.  (It's so popular, in fact, that REI is momentarily sold out. Perhaps because it makes a great stocking-stuffer on World Toilet Day? Our buyer tells me more copies should be available next week, so check back then.)

Meanwhile, where is your favorite, most scenery-packed backcountry comfort station located? In other words, when it's time to poo, which spot has the best view?

Got any entertaining backcountry tales to tell that involve your trusty orange trowel? Yep, we know, we know; we're encouraging people to share toilet humor with us. But in the spirit of World Toilet Day, no potty mouths, please; let's keep it clean, folks, or we'll just have to wipe our hands of this whole topic. 

Photos (of Desolation Peak, North Cascades National Park, and Zion National Park, near Angels Landing) by T.D. Wood.

Posted on at 8:14 PM

Tagged: World Toilet Day, backpacking and privy

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Skagit River Trail- not a panoramic- but completely sorrounded by old growth forest trees as far as the eye can see, and put off a distance from the trail. Serenity. Also- the potty up on the Bugaboo East Creek!!!

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Hell's Bay Chickee in Everglades Nation Park. Not only is the view amazing (I prefer the sunsets), but you can continue fishing from the outhouse while sitting on the throne. Doesn't get any better than that!


The "Loo with a View" atop Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Track in New Zealand.

For a picture, scroll about halfway down this page:


Definitely the Hermit's Rest Trail in the Grand Canyon. It's the first outhouse on the way down and has an amazing view of the entire canyon.


Hell's Bay Chickee in Everglades Nation Park. Not only is the view amazing (I prefer the sunsets), but you can continue fishing from the outhouse while sitting on the throne. Doesn't get any better than that!


There's any number of "Red Roof Inns" at Philmont Scout Ranch that are FINE places. Pilot to Pilot or Pilot to Bombardier, it's all God's Country!


Coolwater Lookout in the Selway Wilderness, Idaho. You can see for almost a hundred miles in any direction over the Bitterroot Range to the Paloose. It is absolutely incredible but please do not tell your friends, I do not want this gem of a toilet overused!


Mt Fremont Lookout, at Mt Rainier National Park, has the best "room with a view" I've ever experienced. Just downhill and out of sight from the lookout, the view --- west, north, and east (south being behind you) is stunning. Apparently, it's a "solar toilet".

Ricks and Stocks

Oh my what a wonderful topic (as long as kept 'clean')! As five years after my trip down the Colorado River I still rave about the night they set "The Groover" in a wonderful spot right by the river. As I utilized the facilities, I could not help but admire the view of the canyon walls yet not spend as much time as i would have preferred. As while I found myself gawking at the view, I also broke out in laughter at the fact that at any time another raft, full of people, could pass by to wave at me while using the potty :) BTW, a book I can also recommend is Up S*** Creek, which has interesting stories from the river.


I think it is the wilderness toilet above Sprite Lake in the Enchantments.


What a great place to take it all in while you, ahem, let it all out...


I would agree the any "P2B" at Philmont is awesome. Nothing like sitting in a meadow at sunrise to stir the soul. No walls to get in the way.

Vagabond Scott

One of the best wilderness toilet that I can recall was one on the edge of a cliff at the Refuge at the Col de la Croix du bonhomme on the tour Du Mount Blanc in France. I was so inspired by the view that a shot a photos from the seat with the view of the apls framed by the open doorway. Unfortunatly it is on slide film or I would post it.


Lake Superior Trail's "Outhouse of the Clouds".

SV Barb

The top of the Sierra Buttes toilet offers spectactular views of the Buttes, Yuba River, and surrounding area. I even met the retired ranger who got it there!


The ones on the boulder fields on Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. No better place for a nippy sunrise BM.

Joe P. Staff Member

The toilet at the Sahale high camp in the North Cascades has a spectacular view of Johannesburg Mountain and beyond.


Mawenzi Outhouses on Kilimanjaro!


Top of Kilauea - looking over the crater!


I do not have a photo but the tree top bungalows in Paksan Lao PDR have toilets. From them you view the canopy jungle, a large ancient ravine and waterfall.

Visiting SE Asia, visit Lao PDR and do not miss the opportunity of a life time! Words, video, nor photos can describe the experience Tree Top tours (Green Discovery Tour) provides. I am not a nature lover, a hiker, an eco traveler and definitely not an adrenline junky. However, Tree Top in Paksong Lao PDR is an adventure that appeases all types of travelers. 2 or 3 day trips consist of trekking in one of Lao PDR's protected national forests in Paksong. It is suspected to be an ancient volcano. The ravines and cliffs are pristine and majestic as one views them from a birds perspective via zip lines that traverse the jungle and gorges.

The trek is not for the weak but has been accomplished by children of 9 years of age and fit elderly over 60 years of age. The tree top bungalows and camp kitchen based at the bottom of a water fall provide modern facilities in an eco friendly manner.

The creation of this tour is a story not to be missed. The local staff involved take extreme pride in their work and share their passion of the tour, the forest and the jungle.

Similar trips exist in other parts of the world but I have not seen or experienced any that surpass Tree Top. If you want to feel Lao then this trip is not to be missed. Post cards or souvenirs not necessary, as this trip leaves a piece of Lao in you.

For those interested, please see link below. I met the owner in Vientiane and he is a passionate Lao man whom is extremely proud to have accomplished this project in his country.


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