Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin, CA 2024
Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin, CA 2024

Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin, CA 2024

Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin, CA 2024

We’re back with another opportunity to volunteer at Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin – a cherished relic perched atop the Sierra Nevada in the Eldorado National Forest, CA, USA.

PROJECT PARTNER: Eldorado National Forest

SESSION DATES: June 16-21, June 23-28, and June 30 – July 5



Project Site Description & History

Nestled within the rugged terrain of Eldorado National Forest stands the Alder Ridge Lookout Facility, a poignant reminder of bygone eras and the enduring evolution of the U.S. Forest Service. Last season Historicorps volunteers poured their efforts into restoring the cabin at the Alder Ridge Lookout and we are very excited to head back and finish the job!

Constructed in 1937 by the Placerville Ranger District in collaboration with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), this historic site sits proudly in El Dorado County, perched at an elevation of 6,225 feet. Comprised of a 60-foot observation tower, a single car garage, and a ranger cabin, the facility serves as a testament to the dedicated efforts of past generations to protect and manage the region’s wilderness resources.

In the wake of the devastating fires that ravaged over 5 million acres of National Forest lands in 1910, forest management practices underwent a profound transformation. This pivotal moment prompted the newly established United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reevaluate its approach to conservation. With the advent of labor programs during the Great Depression, Eldorado’s Region 5 emerged as a key player in the development of essential fire lookout facilities across California’s Sierra Nevada.

In 1990 the facility became eligible for the National Register of Historic Places after a nation-wide study on historic fire lookout facilities was completed. Today, as we embark on the journey to rehabilitate and restore the aging ranger cabin, we invite you to join us in preserving this vital piece of history. Despite facing challenges such as vandalism and inclement weather, the Alder Ridge Lookout Facility continues to stand as a beacon of resilience and hope amidst the ever-changing landscape of the wilderness.

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: June 16-21, June 23-28, and June 30 – July 5

Please plan to arrive at the campsite no earlier than 5pm and no later than 7pm on the first day of your session.

LOCATION: Located approximately 80 minutes from South Lake Tahoe!


Tents, truck campers, and small campervans are welcome. High clearance vehicles are recommended but not mandatory. Showers are not available but dogs are welcomed.

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 40s. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately.

Scope of Work


HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Alder Ridge Lookout Cabin:

  • Repair and restore windows and openings
  • Complete interior finish work including cabinet repairs, interior painting, kitchen wall replacement, and more
  • Exterior painting and interior floor board repairs

Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer!


Visit our Job Calendar to see spaces are available!

*All registrations submitted to projects at capacity will be automatically added to our waitlist.*

CANCELLATIONS effect our ability to complete projects. Please register only if you are certain about your ability to participate.

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact for assistance.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Volunteer Logistics, Policies, and Advice

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies: 

  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night. 
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, work gloves, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places. 
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate small RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email for help. 
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day. 
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work. 
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you. 
  • Hard hats, eye protection, ear protection, gloves are standard personal protection equipment (PPE) required on all projects. Hard hats must be worn at all times on the project site, unless working in a designated safe space. Field staff will train volunteers on correct use of PPE. 
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.