Black Mountain Lookout

Plumas National Forest

Black Mountain Lookout remained closed for the 2020 season and is expected to remain closed into 2021. Closure is due to COVID related demands in maintaining a safe environment for our customers and our staff.

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 normally available for Memorial Day weekend through October, offering guests a unique lodging experience in Plumas National Forest.

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.

Need to Know

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.

Changes & Cancellations

reservations may only be modified or cancelled up to three days in advance of arrival date.

Contact Information


PO Box 7 530-836-2575 Blairsden CA 96103

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: (530) 836-2575

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

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.

Available Campsites

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