Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout, CA
Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout, CA

Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout, CA

Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout, CA

High above the western slopes of Eldorado National Forest is Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout, a popular panoramic point serving winter and summer explorers seeking a connection to the history of fire prevention.   

PROJECT PARTNER: Eldorado National Forest

SESSION DATES: July 9-14 and July 16-21

PROJECT SUPERVISOR: Brittany Vallene!

CREW LEADER: Aric Smejkal!

Project Site Description & History

High in the sierra mountains of California, in the backdrop of Eldorado National Forests’ western slope, is the Robbs Peak Fire Lookout Compound. Built during the Great Depression, the multi-structure compound consists of a primary fire observation cab and functional garage referred to as the “hut.” The two buildings at Robbs Peak were rebuilt by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps under orders from the USDA’s Region 5 planners who sought to expand the functional capabilities while improving the comforts for forestry workers spending fire seasons at the compounds.

Between 1932 and 1938 over 200 new Forest Service Lookouts were erected using the labor of CCC crews who were already hard at work constructing various land conservation projects throughout the region. With the onset of World War II, constructing new fire lookout towers became less of a priority and the forest shifted to adaptation and reuse of existing infrastructure due to funding being prioritized toward the war effort. In 2004 the Robbs Peak Fire Lookout was added to the National Historic Lookout Register.

If the high mountains of California’s Eldorado National Forest call you, we highly recommend joining us this season to restore Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout. Learn more about the compound at the Forests’ website.

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: July 9-14 and July 16-21

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 roughly 70 minutes east of Placerville, CA.

MAP to ROBBS PEAK HUT AND LOOKOUT

  • ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible

Tents, truck-campers, campervans, will have access to our campground. Small Trailers might be accommodable but there are no RV spaces available at this location. Showers will be not be available but dogs are allowed.

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s. We will be at an elevation of nearly 7,000 ft with direct sun exposure. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny with the potential for thunderstorms. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately.

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. Save

Scope of Work

SCOPE OF WORK DIFFICULTY:

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 Robbs Peak Hut and Lookout:

  • Finish carpentry (Siding, doors, and trim)
  • Rough framing
  • Brick masonry repair and repointing
  • Painting and staining
  • Cedar shake roof repair

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!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Visit our Job Calendar to see if a project session is full.

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

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.