Sardine Peak Lookout

Tahoe National Forest

Sardine Peak is a forest fire lookout tower that was constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is a three story enclosed tower with external stairs. Presently the top room or observation cab is the only rentable space. Sardine sits at an elevation of 8,138 feet in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains of Tahoe National Forest, approximately 20 miles from Truckee, California. The lookout does not have electricity, water or garbage service. It does have a propane tank to operate propane-powered appliances.

The interior of the cab is 14 feet long and 14 feet wide and contains two twin beds, a dry sink, a table and four chairs, three propane lights, a propane cast iron heat stove and a propane stove/oven for cooking. A limited assortment of cooking utensils, pots and pans are provided. There is an accessible vault toilet, a picnic table and fire ring are located outside below the lookout. Firewood is not provided. Visitors need to bring their own bedding, toilet paper and other personal items.

Notifications and Alerts

Need to Know

Natural Features

The lookout tower sits on a mountain top with spectacular views of Stampede Reservoir, Boca Reservoir, Sardine Valley, Independence Lake, the top of the Sierra Buttes and western Nevada.

Nearby Attractions

Kyburz Flat Interpretive Area, The Boca Townsite Interpretive Area, and a mountain bike loop within Sardine Valley are all nearby.


Hiking, mountain biking and off road vehicle use are popular around this lookout. Stampede and Boca Reservoirs are nearby for fishing, boating and swimming.

Contact Information



Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: (530) 994-3401

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From the Sierraville Ranger District Office, proceed south on Highway 89 for 12 miles to Sierra County Road S450. Turn left onto road S450 and proceed east for 4 miles to Sierra County Road S650, the Lemon Canyon Road. Turn left onto County Road S650 and proceed north for 2 miles to Forest Service Road 650-75, the Sardine Peak Lookout Road and proceed 4 miles to the locked gate. Sardine Peak Lookout is about 250 yards beyond the locked gate.

Available Campsites

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