Before automated cameras came along, the United States Department of Forestry kept watch over their parks with a decidedly less high-tech approach. Perched high on mountains were fire towers. These small, rustic cabins offered a spectacular and far-reaching view of the surrounding forest, and would allow rangers to spot smoke from as much as 15 miles away. Today these cabins have become redundant, and some are even offered for rental to intrepid campers, for as little as $20.00 a night. Not a bad deal at all. Here are some stunning photos of three fire towers in action. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Forest Fire Lookout Association’s list of towers available for rental.