Tule Lake National Monument/Wildlife Refuge

California Lookouts

My partner found these two structures when researching other potential fire lookouts to visit in the area. Unfortunately, neither of these ended up having any recorded history in fire detection but were still interesting in their own unique way.

Sheepy Ridge Overlook

Date visited: April 8, 2022

We wanted to stop at this overlook on our way into the Lava Beds National Monument since it’s located on the same route but accidentally drove past it. We had some extra time in the day before sunset and were able to drive back out after setting up camp. It’s only a short 30 min drive from the campground. This overlook was built from lava rock by the CCC in the 1930s for observation purposes. We hoped there might be some history of it being used as a fire lookout but I was unsuccessful in finding any information. It is located behind the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and is a short hike up. The trail is only 0.5 miles and climbs 170ft of elevation. From the overlook you have a great overview of the wildlife refuge and part of the Klamath Basin.

More Information.

National Wildlife Refuge

Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds Museum

Date visited: April 8, 2022

We passed through the town of Tulelake while heading to the Lava Beds NM for the weekend. Located just outside the town is the Tule Lake National Monument. This National Monument is the site of the Segregation Center and Camp Tulelake which were used to detain Japanese Americans during World War II. The visitor center is temporarily located at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds along with some other important exhibits. The Rangers only staff the National Monument from Memorial Day through Labor Day. We wanted to make a quick stop at the visitor center since there appeared to be a fire lookout based on pictures online. One of the fairground employees that was working there was nice enough to let us view the exhibits onsite. We found that what we thought to be a fire lookout was actually an observation tower used by the guards at the camps. There are a lot of great historical artifacts at this location from this dark period in history and it is worth the stop if you are in the area.

More Information.

National Park Service

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