Mule Peak Lookout
US 381, CA 42
Mule Peak Lookout

Mule Peak Lookout - courtesy of

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 381, CA 42 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered June 10, 2001
Nominated by Sequoia National Forest
Location Sequoia National Forest
Tulare County, California
Coordinates N 36° 00.966' W 118° 36.858' (view using Google Maps)
N 36° 00' 58" W 118° 36' 51"
N 36.016100° W 118.614300°
Elevation 8,014 ft (2,443 m)
Built 1935
Removed 2021 - Windy Fire
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators Hot Springs Ranger District


Mule Peak Lookout was built in 1936 at a cost of $2,800. It is a C-3 14' x 14' wooden groundhouse with catwalk. Reached only by trail in the Sequoia National Forest, all the materials were delivered by mules and horses. Updated with solar power and single pane windows, it remains in active service.

From the Sequoia National Forest:

Mule Peak is a part of the Sequoia National Forest, Western Divide Ranger District, Located in Tulare County, California, at an elevation of 8,142 feet.

The lookout was built in 1935 and is wood frame construction. Although a US Forest Service Lookout, it is supplemented by Bureau of Indian Affairs, because the tower looks over the Tule River Indian Reservation.  The lookout is funded by the Tule River Indian Reservation and is staffed 5 days a week during fire season.

Established in 1936 as a primary fire detection facility, Mule Peak Lookout was constructed on a rocky peak at an elevation of 8,142 feet. The C-3 live-in cab was built by the CCC, who packed all the materials in by horseback. To this day, all materials and supplies must be packed in the 1.25 miles from the parking area or delivered by helicopter.

There is a small gable roofed shed built near the base of the lookout. The lookout is in good condition considering the early construction date and very little remodeling that has been done. This sits well with Mark Thornton, who in his 1988 evaluation, gave Mule Peak a rating of 19 of a possible 30, and just makes the list of lookouts eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.


Mule Peak Lookout was reported lost during the Windy Fire in September 2021.


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Photo courtesy of

Mule Peak Lookout  - 2005

Mule Peak Lookout - 2005 - courtesy of Richard Carrey

Photo courtesy of Richard Carrey

Photo courtesy of Richard Carrey