Featured Fire Lookouts

Featured Fire Lookouts
Lookout Towers Map (.pdf)
The original Warren Peak Fire Lookout was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938. This tower was ten feet tall with a live-in cab. In 1959, construction began on the Sundance Air Force Station, the world’s first nuclear-powered radar station, located on Warren Peak. The original Warren Peak fire lookout was demolished during the construction. In 1960, a new Warren Peak fire lookout was moved to a peak east of the original lookout. It was constructed with a 54 foot steel tower and cab. 
Warren Peak by Dave Porter
(Warren Peak photo by Dave Porter, Black Hills National Forest)
Custer Peak Fire Lookout was built in 1911.  In 1935 it was replaced with a cupola building, and by 1941 the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the fire lookout you see today.  The cab is 14 ft. by 14 ft. surrounded by a catwalk.  Originally, the tower had a telephone line that ran between Custer Peak and the Bull Dog Ranch.  The tower is considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  It was listed on the National Historic Lookout Register on Oct. 13, 1990. Brochure (.pdf)
Custer Peak Fire Lookout
Custer Peak Historic Fire Lookout

The original Cement Ridge Fire Lookout was built between 1911 and 1913.  At that time it was a one-room log cabin with a shingle roof.  In 1921, a crow’s nest with a glassed-in house was constructed.  A new lookout was finished in 1941. This is the tower that you see today. 

Over the years there have been many maintenance projects conducted on the lookout.  In 1974, the cab siding, some planks in the catwalk, steps and wall studs
were replaced.  The interior was repainted, the siding stained, and the catwalk railing and steps were painted.  The ground floor window frames and door were also replaced at that time. The lookout is considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and was listed on the National Historic Lookout Register on December 30, 1993. 

These towers are significant because of their connection to the Civilian Conservation Corps and their significance in American history during the Great Depression.  The structure is also considered a representative model for its excellent example of rustic architectural style that is unique to the United States Forest Service and Civilian Conservation Corps projects. Brochure (.pdf)

Cement Ridge Fire Lookout
Cement Ridge Historic Fire Lookout
Please help us protect these special places so they can be preserved for future generations.