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
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!