Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ 2021
Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ 2021

Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ 2021

Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ 2021

Fire lookout towers like this one hold a special place in American history. Enjoy the view on this project, and know that your work will serve not only the forest’s past, but its future.

PROJECT PARTNER:  Coconino National Forest

SESSION DATES:  June 6-11, June 13-18, June 20-25, and June 27 – July 2

Photo credit: Arizona Daily Republic

Project Site Description & History

Fire lookout towers like this were once critical assets in the fight against forest fires. Today, advances in fire management technology has rendered lookouts relics of the past, and just a handful of fire lookouts are still actively staffed. Because they offer incredible views and are often located in spectacular areas, fire towers are often popular destinations for hikers, and several are even available for overnight guests – imagine sleeping thirty feet off the ground! The Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower stands guard on the Mogollon Rim, just 40 miles south of Flagstaff. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and could, with some HistoriCorps TLC, one day be opened up to the public for rent.
At 200 miles long and rising 2,000 feet from the landscape, Mogollon Rim (pronounced muggy-on or muggy-own) is a geologic marvel. The Rim is a celebrated destination for Arizonans seeking it cooler climes during scorching southern summers. It offers expansive pine forests and several fishing areas along with miles of hiking, biking, and horse-riding trails. The Rim itself features sedimentary, volcanic and metamorphic rock dating as far back as the Precambrian era (Earth’s oldest).
There are few experiences that inspire awe in the landscapes around us as much as climbing a mountain, mesa, or fire tower. Enjoy the view on this project, and know that your work will serve not only the forest’s past, but its future.

Location and Logistics

PROJECT PARTNER: Coconino National Forest

SESSION DATES: June 6-11, June 13-18, June 20-25, and June 27 – July 2

Please plan to arrive at our campsite no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8pm on the first day of your session.

SITE INFORMATION:    Tent camping only   

We will camp right onsite, near the lookout! Tent, high-clearance campervan, or truck bed camping only. The road up to the lookout is relatively rough, and a medium-to-high clearance vehicle (such as a Subaru or truck) is necessary.


ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear.

The Mogollon Rim has several well-known and extraordinarily photogenic vistas like this one.

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 youth conservation corps members (across different work sessions) will learn the traditional skills necessary to restore several elements of the Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower. This project is not the best fit for those that don’t want to work off the ground!

  • Repair/replace stair treads and railings – 15%
  • Sand and refinish floor – 15%
  • Restore roof hatch door – 10%
  • Repair and refinish built-in furniture – 10%
  • Repair Cab siding – 25%
  • Repair/replace Catwalk handrails – 10%
  • Inspect and replace roof overhang framing – 10%
  • Repair shutters – 5%

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! Choose your session and register below:

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact volunteer@historicorps.org 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:

  • Review our COVID protocols here
  • 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, 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 volunteer@historicorps.org 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.
  • 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.