Bear Mountain Lookout (Fresno County)
US 1386, CA 209
Bear Mountain Lookout (Fresno County) - 1999

Bear Mountain Lookout (Fresno County) - 1999 - courtesy of Mark Swift Collection

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1386, CA 209 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered November 27, 2019
Nominated by Brad Eells
Location Fresno County, California
Coordinates N 36° 44.749' W 119° 16.960' (view using Google Maps)
N 36° 44' 45" W 119° 16' 58"
N 36.745824° W 119.282661°
Elevation 3,395 ft (1,035 m)
Built Circa 1927
Administered by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection - Cal Fire Fresno-Kings Unit (FKU)


The 60 foot tower and 7x7 observation only cab is an Aermotor Company product, possibly erected as early as 1927. The house was built by the CCC's and is based on the Forest Service BC-201 plan. The garage is also a CCC era building. This detection site was initially a State-Federal cooperative lookout. The residence has the highest integrity of the five BC-201 buildings still left in CDF ownership. The interior has few alterations (chiefly the installation of bathroom facilities and newer kitchen counter tops). Siding, windows, flooring, paneling, cabinets and roofing are either original or like original. The associated garage is also near original. During the 1950s, CDF allowed the Weather Modification Company to install a flat roof on the tower's cab for the private firm's instruments. (This "sun deck" saw enthusiastic use by lookout operators, low flying aircraft dubbed the station "Bare Mountain").

Bear Mountain is a distinctive prominence north of the State Highway 180/Squaw Valley area. Vegetation is oak woodland and brush. The lookout is not readily accessible to the public, being over 4 miles behind a locked gate. A paved road leads to the station. This is an intensively used communications site (with significant electromagnetic radiation). (MVT 10/91)

As of 2007, the garage and residence cabin had been removed.


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1955 - courtesy of Cal Fire Fresno-Kings Unit

Tower and BC-201 Residence Cabin - 1955

Tower and BC-201 Residence Cabin - 1955 - courtesy of Cal Fire Fresno-Kings Unit

Photo courtesy of Viola Parker - Mark Swift Collection