Jordan Peak Lookout, Tule River Ranger District

Jordan Peak has the distinction of quite possibly being the oldest lookout site in Sequoia National Forest.  Dudley, in 1899, reported seeing a dozen fires burning from the summit of Jordan Peak in 1898.  This may have not have been a true fire report, however.  There is indication that it was used as a lookout observation post around 1914, when a smoke chaser would ride his horse to the peak and make observations using his compass, binoculars and a map.

Jordan shows up on the 1916 Sequoia National Forest map, although shown in the wrong quarter section.  The original lookout may have been on a higher point northeast of the existing cab.  The lookout was a 14x14 live in cab on 14 foot long timbers that made the tower.  The current lookout was constructed in 1934 and is a modified L-4 style live in cab that measures 13 ½ x 13 ½ inside.  The roof is a Hip-2 style and all of the materials were hauled in by pack animals.  The 20 foot steel tower originally had open bracing, but in 1970, the tower was enclosed with metal siding.  A cement staircase goes straight up on the outside of the structure.  The lookout is considered a landmark for cattle ranchers who graze their beeves in this near wilderness territory north and east of the tower.   It is currently staffed 5 days a week (closed on Wednesday and Thursday) and is open to the public from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.

  • Location:  Township 20S, Range 31E, Section 15

  • Directions:  From Springville, take Hwy 190 east past Camp Nelson to FS 21S50.  Turn left onto FS 20S71 and drive to the end of the road.  Recommend parking near gate and walking the short trail.  The road beyond the gate is a tough 4 wheel drive route.

Copyright © 2006-21 Claud "Sonny" Rouch, all rights reserved. Website by OACYS Technology. Cover photo by Roberts Engineering.