Sierra Buttes Lookout
US 594, CA 65

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 594, CA 65 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered September 21, 2004
Nominated by Kathy Allison
Location Tahoe National Forest
Sierra County, California
Coordinates N 39° 35.725' W 120° 38.450' (view using Google Maps)
N 39° 35' 44" W 120° 38' 27"
N 39.595420° W 120.640830°
Elevation 7,797 ft (2,377 m)
Built 1963
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators Downieville Ranger District


The view from Sierra Buttes Lookout on the Tahoe National Forest is surpassed only by the stunning location. The National Geographic Magazine described it as a “spectacular location that has to be seen to be believed.” The site was first used for fire detection in 1908. In 1916 a 12’x12’ cabin was built. Then in 1933 a 9’x9’ cab was constructed on a 6’ base. The current CL-100 metal 14’x14’ live-in cab went into service in 1963. It is reached by a series of stairs with 176 steps.


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