Red Top Lookout
US 1397, CA 220
Red Top Lookout - 1990

Red Top Lookout - 1990 - courtesy of

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1397, CA 220 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered December 23, 2019
Nominated by Brad Eells
Location Madera County, California
Coordinates N 37° 07.694' W 119° 46.601' (view using Google Maps)
N 37° 07' 42" W 119° 46' 36"
N 37.128232° W 119.776688°
Elevation 1,842 ft (561 m)
Built 1934
Administered by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire MMU)
Cooperators Private land owner


This is a classic example of a CCC era, two story (L-701), timber tower with matching BC-301 cab. These buildings (like their 301/L-601 cousins) were nicknamed "Dutch Windmill" towers because of their resemblance to those famous structures. The subject lookout is nearly "stock original". It features the following original (or like original) items: doors (double door on ground floor, 6 pane/2 panel door on second floor, 1 large pane/1 panel door in cab), "v" groove siding, T&G flooring and ceiling, vertical "v" groove paneling in cab, built-in cabinets, wood fire escape (on south tower wall), shutters, catwalk, guardrail (pipe extension added for 42" compliance).

The only changes have been the addition of aluminum siding, replacement of tower windows with aluminum framed, 1/1 sliders, and the wood shingles have been covered on the pyramidal hip roof. This lookout station has been severely vandalized.

Red Top (Hill) is a rounded peak in the lower foothills of eastern Madera County. The vegetation is oak woodland. A paved road leads to a microwave station located on a neighboring summit. The lookout is a short distance from this road. Public access is suppose to be restricted. (MVT 10/91)

The lookout was scheduled for dismantling in 2010 but is still standing as of 2018.


Change Basemap


Photo courtesy of

Construction 1928

Construction 1928