Location: Western Divide Ranger District, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest
Lat/Long: 35.85000°N / 118.57167°W
Open: June-October, Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Active Fire Lookout
The panoramic view from Tobias Peak includes: Mt. Whitney , Golden Trout Wilderness , the Great Western Divide with beautiful Moses Mountain, Maggie Mountain, Slate Mountains, Dome Rock, and The Needles; Western face of the Kern Plateau, Kern River Valley in the South Lake Isabella area as well as Kelso Valley; North Cold Springs ridge where giant sequoias are visible, as well as Deer Creek Grove; Pine Flat and Hot Springs area out to the great San Joaquin basin and on to the coastal foothills; and close by, Posey by beautiful Linn’s Valley.
Tobias Peak was named in 1884 by John and Tobe Minter who named it for their father Tobias Minter who homesteaded near the peak.
Probably first used as a lookout observation point sometime around 1912, Tobias Peak Lookout shows up on the 1913 Sequoia Forest work map.
A mortar building was constructed on Tobias Peak around this time and was used as a Ranger Outpost and Lookout site. When Sunday Peak Lookout was built circa 1921, Tobias Peak became “inactive” as a lookout until 1935, when the Forest Service decided Tobias Peak was the better location due to its blocking the view from Sunday Peak. Sunday Peak Lookout no longer stands. Considered a hazard, it was burned down by the Forest Service in 1954.
The current Tobias Peak Lookout was built in 1935 by the CCC’s and is a “C-3” type 14x14’ live-in lookout. Supplies and building materials were brought in by mules and horses on a hard trail.
In the early days of Tobias Peak a person had to park whatever brought him/her there in a flat area about one tenth of a mile from the actual tower. Today the road has been extended to within 30 yards of the tower, which leaves an easy climb for all.
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 Tobias Peak.
For more information, check out the Buck Rock Foundation website at .buckrock.org/index.html