Many moon ago, I had the opportunity to be a fire lookout in Northern California. You can read all about it in my book Fire Girl. It was awesome to wake up to a 360 degree view from the top of a mountain. Back in the day, it was a lonely man or woman with a pair of binoculars perched high on a mountain top that spotted forest fires. There aren’t many working fire lookout towers any longer because of modern technology in spotting fires. The Service has made many lookout towers available to rent for a weekend, which I think is pretty cool. Unfortunately a lot of the towers are crumbling or have been completely torn down.
The design of this tower is pretty cool. I hadn’t seen one quite like this.
So let’s take a 4 wheelin’ and hiking trip to Pilot Peak in Plumas County in Northern California!
The Sierra Buttes lookout tower was originally perched on top of this rock at 9000ft back in 1915! Can you believe it?
Over the years the original wooden structure was replaced by concrete and metal. In 1964 the crazy STRAIGHT UP stairs were put in place.
How the workers got up to the lookout before the stairs is beyond me as I can’t find any information or pictures of this lookout tower back in the old days!
If anyone has info and pics, please share!!!
This tower has been decommissioned and again, I can’t find any information on when they stopped using it. I guess I could call the Forest Service!
Anyway, this is a MUST DO hike. However… if you are afraid of heights, or have vertigo, you might not want to go all the way up on the crazy stairs. They are steep and I really had to concentrate on my footing and not look behind me as I went up! Going down wasn’t as scary.