In their heyday during the 1930's there were
over 8,000 fire lookouts that dotted mountain
tops across the United States with over 600 in

Today there are only a few hundred in
operation. Once considered a proud symbol of
our nation's conservation heritage, fire lookouts
are a fading legacy.

I hope you enjoy my photos and stories about
visiting these lookouts and I bet you will get
inspired to visit one yourself!  I encourage you
to also learn more about them and support
preserving these historic treasures.

Sequoia National Forest Lookouts

Baker Point Lookout
Bald Mountain Lookout
Blue Ridge Lookout
Breckenridge Lookout
Buck Rock Lookout
Jordan Peak Lookout
Mule Peak Lookout
The Needles Lookout
Tobias Peak Lookout

San Bernardino National Forest Lookouts

Keller Peak Lookout
Strawberry Peak Lookout
Morton Peak Lookout
Cajon Mountain Lookout
Black Mountain Lookout

Stanislaus National Forest

Smith Peak Lookout

Medicine Bow National Forest Lookouts

Spruce Mountain Lookout
Kennaday Peak Lookout

Marin County

Mt. Tamalpais Lookout

Palomar Mountain State Park

Boucher Hill Lookout

Isle Royale National Park

Ishpeming Point

Needles Fire Lookout Tower Destroyed :(

"The Needles Fire Lookout Tower, one of the most popular
places to visit on the Western Divide Ranger District in
Sequoia National Forest, was destroyed by a fire Thursday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it was
determined that the blaze was not in any way related to the
Lion Fire that is currently burning in the Golden Trout

There was a U.S. Forest Service employee stationed in the
tower, but the employee was able to get out before the
lookout was engulfed by flames.

A wildland fire resulted from the burning debris that fell
from the tower. The status of that fire was unknown as of
press time, but crews were on the scene.

“This is a tragic loss to the district,� District Ranger
Priscilla Summers said. “I’m relieved the person
staffing the lookout tower was able to safely evacuate the
tower before it burned.�

Built in 1937-38 by the Civilian Conservation Corps atop the
Needles rock formation at 8,245 feet, Needles Lookout
overlooked the Kern River Drainage, Mt. Whitney, Olancha
Peak, Farewell Gap and Dome Rock. The 14-foot-by-14-foot
wooden tower was the primary communication line for people
in the backcountry where cell phones do not work.

The tower served as a USFS employee’s office and home
for the summer months while the lookout was on duty. The
employee was responsible for detecting fires and relaying
radio messages to the dispatcher, who in turn sent
firefighters and support equipment to extinguish the
reported fire."


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Needles Lookout
50 Years a Fire