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  • Mule Peak Lookout

    Location: Western Divide Ranger District, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest

    Lat/Long: 36.01600°N / -118.614°W

    Elevation: 8,142

    Open: June-October, M-F 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Active Fire Lookout

    Mule Peak Lookout is along the Great Western Divide and overlooks the Tule River Indian Reservation to the west with superb views toward the north including: Moses, Maggie, and Slate Mountains.

    Looking northeast you can just spot Olancha Peak.

    Towards the east you see the mighty Kern River Canyon and southward you see Baker Point and Tobias Peak.

    Mule Peak is a part of the Sequoia National Forest, Western Divide Ranger District, Located in Tulare County, California, at an elevation of 8,142 feet.

    The lookout was built in 1935 and is wood frame construction. Although a National Forest Service Lookout it is supplemented by Bureau of Indian Affairs, because the tower looks over the Tule River Indian Reservation.  The lookout is funded by the Tule River Indian Reservation and is staffed 5 days a week during fire season.

    Established in 1936 as a primary fire detection facility, Mule Peak Lookout was constructed on a rocky peak at an elevation of 8,142 feet. The C-3 live-in cab was built by the CCC, who packed all the materials in by horseback. To this day, all materials and supplies must be packed in the 1.25 miles from the parking area or delivered by helicopter.

    There is a small gable roofed shed built near the base of the lookout. The lookout is in good condition considering the early construction date and very little remodeling that has been done. This sits well with Mark Thornton, who in his 1988 evaluation, gave Mule Peak a rating of 19 of a possible 30, and just makes the list of lookouts eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

    During the summer months (June through October, weather depending) the fire lookout may let you up into the tower and show you what his/her job is all about.

    Most Forest Service roads are closed by Nov. 15 and reopened late May or early June, depending on weather.

    Click here to find links to webcams pointed in different directions from Mule Peak.

    For more information, check out the Buck Rock Foundation website at