Butler Peak Fire Lookout

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Butler Peak Fire Lookout Trail

Butler Peak Fire Lookout (elev. 8,537 ft.) is located in the San Bernardino Mountains between the towns of Green Valley Lake and Fawnskin. The area is surrounded by low lying shrubs and peppered by pine trees. As the highest fire lookout on the Mountaintop and Front Country Ranger Districts, Butler Peak offers spectacular 360° views including sites such as San Gorgonio Peak, the Big Bear Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Apple Valley, and the Inland Empire.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016 the Mountaintop Ranger District opened forest road 2N13B (Butler Peak Road) to vehicle traffic. This is the first time the road has been open to the public since the Butler II fire in 2007.

Forest Service Roads 2N13 and 2N13B are part of the inventory of Annual Winter Road Closures on the Mountaintop Ranger District and are CLOSED annually every winter when there is snow accumulation. Once the roads are closed, they remain closed until spring to mitigate road damage.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Please call the Big Bear Discovery Center for current road conditions 909-382-2790. All visitors and motorists should be advised that though the road is seasonally open, it is in extremely rough shape. The road has been graded, however it is not suitable for low clearance vehicles. Four-Wheel Drive is highly recommended, but not absolutely necessary. There are spots where gravel and dirt are very loose and the traction from Two-Wheel Drive may not allow vehicles with light back ends (unloaded pickup trucks) to proceed on the steep grades.
Operational Hours: The tower is open to the public daily, based on availability of fire lookout volunteers. When a volunteer is present the hours of operation are anywhere between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, based upon volunteer availablity.
Fees No fee and no Adventure Pass required.
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Fawnskin, CA (6.3 miles)
Water: No water
Restroom: Primitive
Information Center: Big Bear Discovery Center 909-382-2790

General Information


From the San Bernardino County Fire station in Fawnskin, CA, travel north on Rim of the World Drive and then turn left onto Forest Road 2N13; continue to follow 2N13 until you see signage for 2N13C on your left. Turn left on 2N13C and follow to the end of the road. 

It is approximately 3.8 miles from the fire station to the spur road that takes visitors to the top of Butler Peak. It is approximately 9 miles one-way from the Discovery Center to Butler Peak Fire Lookout (35-40 minutes driving cautiously).

The distance of the spur road from 2N13 to the lookout is 2.5 miles one-way. The road is labeled on the ground as 2N13C though many maps and references are made to it being labeled as 2N13B.

General Notes:

From the parking area, it is a 1/8 mile hike on very steep, rocky, and uneven terrain. Sturdy shoes and boots are recommended. Sandals and flip flops are not appropriate footwear.


There is parking at the top of the road for approximatley 5-6 vehicles. Approximately 0.2 miles below the lookout, there is a turn out on the road with room for 1-2 small vehicles to park--however, please only utilize this as a last resort.

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