Wolf Mountain Lookout
US 1335, CA 158
Wolf Mountain Lookout 2009

Wolf Mountain Lookout 2009 - courtesy of Ron Kemnow

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1335, CA 158 (view other lookouts in United States, California)
Date Registered October 24, 2019
Nominated by Brad Eells
Location Nevada County, California
Coordinates N 39° 07.995' W 121° 06.007' (view using Google Maps)
N 39° 07' 60" W 121° 06' 00"
N 39.133258° W 121.100112°
Elevation 2,677 ft (816 m)
Built 1921/1926/1981
Administered by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection - Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (Cal Fire NEU)
Cooperators Cal Fire Volunteers in the Fire Protection (VIP)


Established in 1921 with a crow's nest tree platform (1/2 mile southwest of the present tower), a 50' wooden tower with 7x7' and cabin were constructed in 1926 (also 1/2 mile southwest of the present tower). A garage was added in 1934. A crow's nest tree platform was added 1/2 mile east of the present tower in 1931 (still there, also called the East Wolf Lookout Tree). Materials for the current 108' treated timber L-4 tower were purchased in 1942, then stored at Derr Guard Station until 1947 when enough manpower was available after World War II to build the tower. It is staffed every summer. (Vintage Article)

Wolf Mountain is one of the steel towers made from surplus "atomic bomb testing towers." The tower plan is 1622-2A, the cab is based on Plan Number 732-6A. Only three , 29' towers of this type have been erected. Constructed in 1981. (MVT 10/91)

The structure had been badly vandalized in 2013 and was unusable, but grant money is not only restoring the tower but also making the site more secure.

Thanks to a donation of $27,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric, CAL FIRE is able to repair and put back into operation the Wolf Mountain fire tower used by volunteer lookouts to spot wildfires more quickly. The work was done by volunteers Curtis Canfield and Greg Crompton along with CAL FIRE batallion chief Sean Griffis.

Wolf Mountain once again an active lookout staffed during fire season by Cal Fire Volunteers in the Fire Protection (VIP) program. (California Fire News)


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2004 - courtesy of Fred Johnson