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part ofPlumas National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sat Oct 31 2015   Season Dates


Black Mountain Lookout is located on the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District, 10 miles from Highway 395, near Milford, California.

The lookout was constructed in 1934 and is a great example of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) architecture. The C-3-type lookout is situated on a single story 10 foot tower and is extremely well-preserved.

The lookout tower is available for Memorial Day weekend through October, offering guests a unique lodging experience in Plumas National Forest.

Natural Features:

The Plumas National Forest is defined by its unique land features and pleasant climate. Outdoor enthusiasts are attracted to the many streams and lakes, beautiful deep canyons, rich mountain valleys, meadows and lofty peaks.

Guests at Black Mountain Lookout are treated to striking views of Honey Lake to the north, and Last Chance Creek to the south.

Diverse vegetation provides a habitat for wildlife including deer, coyotes, bald eagles and osprey.

Frenchman Lake is within a 30-minute drive from the lookout. This lake is popular for swimming, water skiing, fishing and camping.


Hiking, birding, stargazing and wildlife viewing are popular among guests of the lookout. On a clear night, visitors can gaze upon the expansive sky as it unfolds with a dazzling display of stars.


The one-room lookout cabin is set on a tower, rising 10 feet above the ground. It is furnished with two single beds with mattresses, but can accommodate up to four people. There is also space for tent camping adjacent to the lookout, for up to four visitors.

The cabin has a small table and chairs, a refrigerator, a small stove, heater, and lights, all powered with electricity. A picnic table and vault toilet are also on site.

Although the lookout provides a few amenities, guests must bring several of their own, including food, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, towels, dish soap and garbage bags.

No water is available at this facility, so guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing. Packing an additional light source is also recommended.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Lights
  • Off Road Vehicle Trails
  • Picnic Area
  • Refrigerator
  • Stargazing
  • Stove
  • Table and Chairs
  • Tent sites
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • Entry to the cabin is by key; contact the Beckwourth Ranger District at (530) 836-2575 for the combination to the lock box and to check on any restrictions or conditions, such as fire or road closures, weather or storms that may affect the quality of your visit. The office is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. After hours or on weekends, please call (530) 283-0193.
  • Access to the cabin is by dirt road; high clearance vehicles are recommended
  • Maximum capacity of the tower is four people, however tent camping adjacent to the tower is available for up to four guests
  • Pets are welcome
  • Keep the building and grounds clean to deter squirrel, mice, rats, bears, and other wildlife from area
  • Pack out all trash
  • Doors and windows should be locked and all personal items removed upon departure
  • The lookout tower is a no-smoking facility

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
40.11528, -120.32111
40°6'55"N, 120°19'16"W

Access to the lookout is by a dirt road; high clearance vehicles are recommended. Visitors should be aware that access is subject to inclement weather during the early and late season.

Black Mountain Lookout is located on the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District, 10 miles from Highway 395, near Milford, California.

From Highway 395 at Milford take County Road 336 to Milford Grade. Turn right onto Milford Grade (also named County Road 336 and Forest Rd. 26N70. Turn left on Forest Road 26N80 and continue on this road to lookout.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PO Box 7
Blairsden  CA  96103

Phone Number:

Information:  (530) 836-2575
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