Dark Canyon Lookout
US 1108, NM 34
Photo courtesy of Mark Gutzman

Photo courtesy of Mark Gutzman

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1108, NM 34 (view other lookouts in United States, New Mexico)
Date Registered August 30, 2015
Nominated by Mark Gutzman
Location Lincoln National Forest
Eddy County, New Mexico
Coordinates N 32° 04.902' W 104° 44.375' (view using Google Maps)
N 32° 04' 54" W 104° 44' 23"
N 32.081692° W 104.739590°
Elevation 6,968 ft (2,124 m)
Built 1949
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators Guadalupe Ranger District
Available for Rental Yes


Located on the Guadalupe Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest, the Dark Canyon lookout is a 48 feet high Aermotor MC-99 type steel tower with a 7X7 foot steel cab. It is one of only two MC-99s still standing in the southwest (the other is on the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona).

The Dark Canyon site has been utilized for fire detection since 1910. Two tall pine trees with ladders and platforms were first used. A log cabin was built to house the lookout personnel. No remains of any of these structures are visible today. In the late 1930s the CCC destroyed the log cabin and built the present cabin and toolshed.

Another tower that had been condemned by another National Forest was brought in, erected and removed within a year. The Ranger District renewed the use of the tree lookouts until 1949 when a surplus tower was received from the US Army. The original height of the tower was 90 feet, but the FS only used the top 48 feet.


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