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About Pine Mountain Lookout
Rustic Pine Mountain Lookout was constructed in 1933 and used for fire detection until 1942. During World War II, the lookout served as part of an aircraft defense monitoring system that extended throughout California. This lookout is historically significant because it only offers 180-degree views of the surrounding terrain, while otherlookouts have 360-degree views. The lookout is typically open from May through October and is accessible by car. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and will need to bring several of their own supplies for a comfortable and enjoyableexperience at the lookout. Natural Features: The lookout is perched on an outcropping, at an elevation of 4,400 feet. It is in a mixed forest of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, black oak and madrone trees. Bucknell Creek and the EelRiver are the major drainages in the area. The windows afford views of endless mountain peaks and offer a good vantage point for watching theevening sunsets. A variety of bird species inhabit the forest, and guests may spot eagles, owls, hawks and osprey. Mountain lions, black bears, black-tailed deer, flying squirrels, bobcats and Tule elk also live in the area. Please be safe around bears. Recreation: The lookout mostly offers a prime location for relaxing and enjoying the views. Guests craving more active pursuits can find hiking trails and hunting areas nearby.Floating and fishing on the Eel River are popular pastimes enjoyed by visitors to the area. Facilities: The inside of the cabin is equipped with a set of bunk beds and four cots, touch lights, a dining table with chairs and storage cabinets. A fire extinguisher and firstaid kit are provided for emergency use. A picnic table, fire ring and grill are located outside. An outhouse with a vault toilet is a short distance away. There is no water and electricity. Guests must bring their own water supply, as well as trash bags to pack out their trash. The bunk bed does not have box springs or mattresses. Items such as bedding, lanterns or flashlights, firewood, cookware, utensils and extra toilet paperare not provided. Nearby Attractions: The historic town of Upper Lake is approximately 19 miles to the south. This former logging and ranching town offers excellent bird watching, various recreational activities, shops, restaurants and events. The Lake Pillsbury recreation area is seven miles to the northeast. This is the largest lake in Mendocino National Forest and offers many recreational opportunities. ACTIVITIES Historic & Cultural Site: Historic Sites Hiking Hunting Wildlife Viewing
Access
Drive In
Operator
USDA Forest Service
Features
+ More
Reservable
Location
Pine Mountain Lookout is located in California
Latitude
39.367 N
Longitude
-123.021 W
Get Directions
Directions
From Potter Valley, turn right on Eel River Road (North County Road 240B) and drive 4 miles to the Y-intersection. Take the right hand fork of the Y, signed as Cutoff Road, and travel down the hill for about a half-mile. At the bottom of the hill proceed north on County Road 240B and cross the Eel river bridge. Proceed to the right towards Lake Pillsbury for 14 miles, to the junction of M1 (Soda Creek Store). Proceed to the right (south) on M1 to the Eel River and again cross the Eel River. At the junction of M1 and M8 proceed west (right) onto M8 (River Road) for approximately 2 miles to the junction with Forest Road 18N05. Turn left at Road 18N05 and drive uphill. Drive approx. 2.5 miles to the junction with Forest Road 17N23 (Road 23) and continue straight onto 17N23. Drive approx. ü mile to the junction of Forest Roads 17N23 and 18N77. The lookout is located behind the gate and is marked with a sign. From the Upper Lake Ranger District office, drive 21.3 miles north on Elk Mountain Road. Take a left turn (at Pine Mountain sign) onto Forest Road 18N05. Continue on Forest Road 18N05 until you reach the junction of Forest Road 17N23. Make a sharp left up the hill continuing approx. ü mile to the junction of Forest Roads 17N23 and 18N77. The lookout is located behind the gate and is marked with a sign.
1 Review of Pine Mountain Lookout
First to Review
So cool to be able to stay in an old fire lookout tower!

It was such a unique experience staying at Pine Mountain Lookout. The tower is unique in that it only gives a 180º view rather than 360º which allows you stunning views of the sunset. And they were absolutely gorgeous sunsets! There are cots provided just make sure you bring a sleeping bag, sheets, etc. It looks like they recently put in a new outhouse which was very clean! The only bad thing I have to say is there were a bunch of rodents; didn't see any while we were there, just a ton of mouse droppings on the counters and by the door in the morning, so make sure you pack away your food at night. There were also signs that rattlesnakes are in the area, but didn't see or hear any.

The roads driving up to the lookout tower are logging roads so they are a bit rough, this wasn't something we were expecting on our drive there. But overall it was an amazing experience. I can't wait to stay at another fire tower!