Red Hill (Manker) Lookout
US 1381, CA 204
Red Hill (Manker) Lookout

Red Hill (Manker) Lookout - courtesy of National Archives

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1381, CA 204 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered November 7, 2019
Nominated by Michael Guerin
Location City of Rancho Cucamonga
San Bernardino County, California
Coordinates N 34° 06.825' W 117° 37.275' (view using Google Maps)
N 34° 06' 49" W 117° 37' 17"
N 34.113743° W 117.621252°
Elevation 1,492 ft (455 m)
Built 1937
Administered by Privately Held
Cooperators San Bernardino National Forest


This unconventional lookout structure opened on July 17, 1937.  Built by the San Bernardino National Forest under the guidance of Forest Supervisor William V. Jones.  It’s unique appearance owes to the desire for it to conform with the surroundings.  A news article in the San Bernardino Sun newspaper published just before its opening said it best: “…its appearance may suggest a cross between a lighthouse and a moorish castle.  Even a veteran ranger might easily fail to recognize it as a lookout.”  A newspaper account published in 1936 estimated the cost of the structure at $3,000, making it “…the most expensive… and attractive lookout station on the forest.”
The original building plans were designed to separate the residence so that a visitor would not interfere with or cross through the living area.  Information indicates that while it was constructed by the San Bernardino NF, the nearby Angeles NF also received reports from this tower.  Conrad C. Tindell was the first lookout assigned to this post.
On November 8, 1939, Red Hill was officially renamed in honor of a respected local fire chief, Fletcher Manker, who was also active in watershed conservation.  It served the forests until the 1960’s when the neighborhood essentially grew up around it.  Air pollution was severe in this area, likely contributing to the decision to close it.  It was purchased by a private party and eventually rented for use as a residence and art studio.  The family that had rented it purchased the property in 1975 as a family home, eventually adding to the structure in 1982.
Note that the site is a private residence, and no tours or visits are permitted.


Change Basemap


Cupola with fire-finder

Cupola with fire-finder - courtesy of Bruce Risher Collection

Photo courtesy of Paula Emick

Original  construction plans

Original construction plans - courtesy of USFS Region 5 Architectural Archive

North quadrant view

North quadrant view

West quadrant view - 1935

West quadrant view - 1935

East quadrant view - 1935

East quadrant view - 1935

January 1937

January 1937 - courtesy of San Bernardino Sun