Panther Top Lookout
US 215, NC 5

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 215, NC 5 (view other lookouts in United States, North Carolina)
Date Registered March 30, 1997
Nominated by Charles N. Miller, District Ranger, and Glen Beaver
Location Nantahala National Forest
Cherokee County, North Carolina
Coordinates N 35° 03.950' W 084° 05.000' (view using Google Maps)
N 35° 03' 57" W 084° 04' 60"
N 35.065830° W 084.083330°
Elevation 2,264 ft (690 m)
Administered by Cherokee County, North Carolina
Cooperators Tusquitee Ranger District


Located on the Nantahala National Forest in the southwestern tip of North Carolina, Panther Top Lookout was constructed in 1940 on a knob known by locals as “PainterTop.” The 30’ Marshall-McClintock tower with a R-8 wooden 14’x 14’ cab with catwalk is still used in periods of high fire danger and is a popular visitor destination.


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Visit Reports

April 13, 2019: Krein Family


Needs paint? No
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Good condition? Yes
Comments: Appears in excellent condition. Of course, the old outhouse didn't fare so well in the fire, but we found that amusing.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? Yes
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? Downed tree on the road leading up.


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? Unsure
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? Unsure