Ute Mountain Lookout Tower


Ute Mtn Fire LookoutRehabilitation of the Ute Mountain Lookout Tower

Sponsored by Ashley National Forest, Utah

Stay tuned for 2014 project sessions, and check out

project photos HERE! 

History: Ute Mountain Lookout Tower is the first and the last standing fire tower with living quarters above ground in Utah, offering a panoramic view of the picturesque Uinta Mountain Range.  Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935-1937, the tower served as the fire lookout’s living quarters, thirty feet above the ground with only 196 square feet of space. While the lookout is no longer used to spot fires, it is a significant tourist attraction in the area and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it stands as a monument to the early years of fire prevention and detection of the Forest Service, an important part of our cultural heritage. Watch a video on the tower here.

Scope of Work: Ute Tower was a tourist attraction until its closing September of 2008 due to decay in the tower legs and stairway. HistoriCorps volunteers:

  • Removed and replaced 3 tower legs (upper and lower for 2);
  • Removed and replaced 8 cross braces;
  • Removed and replaced 30 ¾”x 18” bolts;
  • Removed stairs;
  • Primed all new materials and treated with copper naphthenate;
  • Removed and rebuilt stairs, catwalk and railing;
  • Retro-fit joists and beams beneath platform on 3 sides;
  • ute

Lodging and Directions: Take Hwy 44 to Sheep Creek Geological Loop. The tower is located two and one-half miles west of the loop. Take the turn off on the unpaved and narrow road towards Spirit Lake. The tower is located 51 miles northwest of Vernal, UT at 8,834 feet elevation, Near Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Volunteers will be staying at Summit Springs Guard Station, approximately 3.5 miles east of Ute Tower, for the first three sessions. For the fourth session, volunteers will be camping at a dispersed site around the tower.  More specific directions will be given upon registration.

Additional Information:  The project was managed and supervised by two or more HistoriCorps instructors and was designed to optimize learning opportunities. Camping, tools, safety equipment, and meals were provided by HistoriCorps but transportation and to and from the project was the responsibility of the participant. Volunteers were responsible for bringing their own camping gear.

To learn more about this project please contact Amy Eller, HistoriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, at 303-893-4260 x 225 or aeller@historicorps.org 

© 2013 Historicorps®. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Historicorps® works with numerous federal, state and local agencies, including the United States Forest Service, one of its founding partners.