Butler Peak Fire Lookout

Area Status: Closed

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.


    View of the Butler Peak Fire Lookout from trail below.

    View of the Butler Peak Fire Lookout from trail below.


    A view from inside the Butler Peak Fire Lookout.

    A view from inside the Butler Peak Fire Lookout.


    View of the Butler Peak Lookout from below.

    View of the Butler Peak Lookout from below.

At a Glance

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 availability.
Fees: No fee and no Adventure Pass required.
Open Season: - 11/13/2022
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Fawnskin, CA (6.3 miles)
Water: No Water
Restroom: Primitive
Information Center:
Mountain Top Ranger District | Big Bear Discovery Center
40971 North Shore Drive, Highway 38
P.O. Box 69
Fawnskin, CA 92333
1-909-382-2790 Thursday thru Monday. (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

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 approximately 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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