Blue Mountain Fire Lookout
US 1185, CA 116
Blue Mountain Lookout - 2005

Blue Mountain Lookout - 2005 - courtesy of Fred Johnson

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1185, CA 116 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered April 24, 2017
Nominated by Bill Luedeke
Location Stanislaus National Forest
Calaveras County, California
Coordinates N 38° 20.523' W 120° 21.894' (view using Google Maps)
N 38° 20' 31" W 120° 21' 54"
N 38.342045° W 120.364897°
Elevation 6,071 ft (1,850 m)
Built 1966
Administered by U.S. Forest Service


The subject building replaced a CCC era lookout. The site was originally a primary fire detection point for the Stanislaus National Forest. The existing structure is based on CDF Plan No. 809RA, a variation of the traditional 809R plans. This is the only single story 809R tower in California. The building is in excellent condition and has undergone few alterations since its erection. The cab's interior boast of two beautiful oil paintings. The two landscapes were painted on the walls by a former lookout operator. A 240 sq. ft., wood frame garage is located next to the parking area, below the lookout tower. This building has a concrete slab foundation, asbestos tile siding and wood shingles on a gable roof. A small pump house and redwood water storage tank are located on the west side of the summit.

Blue Mountain is a large, southwest tending ridge located north of the South Fork of the Mokelumne River. The lookout is perched upon a sharp peak, with steep topography on all sides. The area is heavily timbered in pine, fir, cedar and oak. A radio vault and tower are southeast of the lookout. The station is 16 miles from paved road, access is restricted. (MVT 10/91)

Calaveras Ranger District, 6,071' elevation - The Forest Service leased 1 acre of property on Blue Mountain in 1914 for the purpose of a fire lookout and supply station. Originally established prior to 1908, the first permanent lookout was built in 1911 from wood from the first Calaveras Ranger Station.he Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the second lookout in 1934. Cal Fire now operates the current lookout, built in 1966. (Stanislaus National Forest)


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1934 Constructed BC-301 cabin on an enclosed timber tower

1934 Constructed BC-301 cabin on an enclosed timber tower - courtesy of Stanislaus National Forest Archive