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.
Hopefully this tower is sturdier than it looks!
Sunset at Hirz Mountain is a magical time.
Perched high on Herz Mountain, this fire tower allows watchers to spot smoke from 15 miles away.
Hornet Mountain Fire Tower has storm flaps on the windows to take the edge off high-speed winds.
Inside the Hornet Mountain Fire Tower are basic necessities such as a wood stove, and of course, a desk.
Even during the early summer Hornet Mountain Fire Tower gets the occasional flurry.
Tucked among the trees, the Shorty Peak Fire Tower is the essence of solitude.
Sunset at Shorty Peak Fire Tower.
The view from Shorty Peak Fire Tower is spectacular