Bunker Hill Lookout, CA 2024
Bunker Hill Lookout, CA 2024

Bunker Hill Lookout, CA 2024

Bunker Hill Lookout, CA 2024

Feed your passion for nature and adventure by volunteering at the breathtaking Bunker Hill Lookout Tower in California!

PROJECT PARTNER: Eldorado National Forest

SESSION DATES: July 14-19, July 21-26, July 28 – August 2, August 18-22, August 25-30, and September 1-6



Project Site Description & History

The Bunker Hill Lookout is a key historical site within Region 5, symbolizing its expansive fire management efforts during the Great Depression. Constructed as part of a broad administrative and infrastructural campaign, this unique facility was designed by Region 5 architect Kepler Johnson in 1939. Specifically tailored for its location, the lookout features a 20-foot tall stone live-in tower topped with a 14’ x 14’ wooden observation cab, making it the only structure of its kind. The construction began in the same year under the auspices of the Eldorado National Forest, Pacific Ranger District, with significant contributions from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and local fire guards Joseph and Marie Baumann.

Completed in stages, the original stone base of the lookout was finished by 1942, with the Baumanns adding finishing touches through 1945. The wooden observation cab, which provides expansive views necessary for fire spotting, was added in 1949. Today, the Bunker Hill Lookout retains a high degree of historic integrity and stands as one of the most distinctive and important Forest Service buildings in California, reflecting the architectural ambition and functional necessity of its time.

Join HistoriCorps this July and August to preserve one of Eldorado National Forests iconic fire towers overlooking the greater Tahoe basin in the beautiful Sierra Nevada! For more information on California’s Forest Service history with fire lookout towers, please visit their website here.

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: July 14-19, July 21-26, and July 28 – August 2

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 west of Lake Tahoe and less than three hours east of Sacramento, volunteers can expect fantastic views at this fire tower!



Tents, truck campers, and campervans, can access our campground. There are no hookups and showers will not be available. Dogs are welcome but need to be leashed! If you plan to bring your dog to the project site, please provide a shade structure and water bowl.

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 90s and lows in the 60s. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately. This site is exposed and has no shade.

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

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 Bunker Hill Lookout Tower:

  • Roof repair and replacement
  • Deconstruct the brick chimney and restore historic integrity
  • Address water damage issues and other exterior repairs to prep for paint exterior and repointing masonry

Volunteers will be required to work on a small roof three stories high at the top of summit and will experience exposure to heights.  Accessing the roof will involve climbing two flights of stairs and a short ladder. *Please be prepared if registering for this project.*  

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 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: 

  • 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 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. 
  • 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.