The Extraordinary U.S. Fire Tower Hike You Never Knew Existed
Hiding all around the West Coast, you can find amazing fire tower hikes that will lead you to otherworldly views. One of our favorite parts about trekking up to these fire towers is that so many of them allow you to spend the night! Giving you a chance to gaze up at the stars, this California lookout tower is one of the most unique places you’ll ever stay.
Just outside of Bakersfield, California, Oak Flat Lookout is easier to get to than you may have expected. Unlike other fire tower trails around the state and country, Oak Flat gives you a choice of either driving all the way to the top or hiking for the last .8-miles. Those who are willing to put their Four-Wheel Drive to use can drive to the base of the fire tower, but we like to always suggest taking the scenic walk to the top if you don’t have too much to carry and aren’t in a rush.
Sitting at an elevation of just under 5,000-feet, you’ll need to climb a total of 40 steep steps to reach the Oak Flat Lookout cabin. Once you reach the cabin at the top you’ll find the basic essentials that you’ll need like two twin beds, and a kitchen with a propane range. Something you’ll need to keep in mind though is that the cabin doesn’t have electricity or running water.
Originally built back in 1934, the Oak Flat Lookout’s original purpose was to help detect fires in the Kern River Canyon. Operating until the 1980s, today the tower now serves as one of the most magical places for under-the-stars sleeping. Fit to accommodate a total of four adults, the tower even has its own pulley system so that you don’t have to worry about carrying everything up to the very top yourself! Giving you a panoramic look at the Kern River Canyon and Greenhorn Mountains, you’ll frequently find yourself at a loss for words while gazing out from the cabin.
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Curious how exactly to reach this amazing lookout tower? Then easily grab some directions from Google Maps below!
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