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Bald Mountain Fire Lookout

Located in the United States Forest Service's,

Sequoia National Forest, Cannell Ranger District

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Bald Mountain's GPS location is 36.02000°N / 118.253°W, Placed on the National Historic Lookout Register on 4/21/1999 as Lookout No. 383

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Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer or Volunteer Fire Lookout, then visit the  Buck Rock Foundation's Web-Site  for further information.

      Bald Mountain Lookout was built and became active in 1951. The lookout used today was constructed in 1955 from materials brought in via a mule train along trails before any roads existed to the area. Located in the Sequoia National Forest, Cannell Ranger District, Township 22 S, Range 34 E, Section 12, it is also used for BLM and Inyo Forest Fire Traffic. Bald Mountain Lookout is located at an elevation of 9,430 feet and is located off the Sherman Pass Road near Black Rock Station in the Southeastern most portion of the Sequoia National Forest.

      There is not a lot of history for Bald Mountain and the actual date of when the tower was first used for fire detection is unknown because there were two towers located in the area, both of which, were called Bald Mountain Lookout. Loggers built roads through the plateau in order to harvest the mostly pristine forest ecosystem in 1967. The lookout structure is a tall metal tower with a single room cabin surrounded by a catwalk. The lookout structure consists of a CL-100 live-in style cab with a flat low roof sitting on a metal tower.

      It first appears on the 1935 Inyo National Forest map at a different location, but was abandoned when a lookout at Sherman Peak was built in 1936. The site saw use again in 1951 and then current structure was constructed in 1955. It is currently staffed full time during fire season and generally open to the public. The lookout became accessable to the public in 1967. Bald Mountain is surronded by the Bald Mountain Botanical Area that has one of the most spectacular vistas in the Sequoia National Forest. It is a unique 446-acre botanical and geological island in the southern Sierra on the Kern Plateau. The fire lookout tower is located central to the botanical area. Standing on the tower’s catwalk, one can view over 1000 square miles of the Southern Sierra's. Some of the information is courtsey of Buck Rock Foundation.

FFLA (Forest Fire Lookout Association) Reports for the year:


      The Kern River RD is committed to repairing a leaky roof at Bald Mountain Lookout

      Bald Mountain – Standing, Not staffed in 2009

THREATENED:      Based on an engineering assessment, the Forest has determined that Bald Mountain Lookout on the Sierra National Forest is “not worth the liability or repair.” Using already-appropriated stimulus money, the Forest plans on removing the cab in the Spring of 2010, then restore the tower for use as an observation platform. As there is local support of volunteer groups to restore the lookout, the Central California Chapter representing the FFLA will propose that necessary steps are taken to ensure that the lookout remains standing in place as is.


THREATENED:      Last years threat to remove Bald Mountain Lookout on the Sierra NF has been delayed due to a lack of funding (Stimulus money was originally designated for the dismantling of the lookout). 4-wheel drive groups are still interested in adopting the lookout. The lookout is abandoned. in desperate need of repair and is not staffed.


THREATENED:      Bald Mountain Lookout has been removed from the threatened status due to groups wanting to save the lookout.

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This page last updated on March 1, 2013.

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1995 Miami Mountain Volunteer Fire Lookouts


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