Fowler Peak (Bear Mountain) Lookout
US 1311, CA 134
Fowler Peak Lookout - 2005

Fowler Peak Lookout - 2005 - courtesy of Fred Johnson

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1311, CA 134 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered October 16, 2019
Nominated by Brad Eells
Location Calaveras County, California
Calaveras County, California
Coordinates N 38° 01.165' W 120° 35.045' (view using Google Maps)
N 38° 01' 10" W 120° 35' 03"
N 38.019413° W 120.584078°
Elevation 2,893 ft (882 m)
Built 1988
Administered by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)


This steel tower is made from surplus "atomic bomb testing towers" which CDF acquired from the General Services Administration in the 1970s. The tower is based on CDF Plan Number 1817-4A. The cab is based on the 732-6A plan. The lookout is similar to the 1548 series (Shasta-Bear, et al). However, this is the only 41 foot tower in this design series. The lookout marks the introduction of the Plesha designs in CDF Region 4.

This is the second newest CDF (now Cal Fire) lookout with the newest cab built in 1987-88. The 41 foot high steel tower has a 14 foot square cab with similar size bedroom/bathroom underneath. At $70,000 it was the most expensive lookout built by the CDF. It was named in honor of State Forester O.E. "Chick" Fowler. There should be a benchmark on a boulder 24 feet northwest of the tower.

This lookout was originally located at the south end of Bear Mountain, about six miles south of the community of San Andreas, in Calaveras County, California. In 1986-87 it was relocated and reconstructed by CDF at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.

This reconstructed tower was selected as one of the 29 historic buildings targeted for long term preservation and management since the it was a restored historic lookout tower from the 1930s that was fully accessible to the public.

Unfortunately the Calaveras County Fair Board ordered its demolition in 2004.

The now-demolished structure was a wood framed, battered and enclosed timber tower
constructed by the CCC in the 1930s (one record indicates 1933 as the date of construction while another source gives the date as 1936).

As part of the same project CCC crews built a nine-mile dirt and gravel compacted truck trail to access the high point of Bear Mountain and installed a telephone line from the tower to a Fire Station which they built in Altaville.


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