California Department of Forestry
Elevation = 4177
L/L = 39.6862676 -123.5822394
NHLR # 1125
DESIGNATION – CAHTO LOOKOUT TOWER
PID – KT2124
COUNTRY – US
USGS QUAD – CAHTO PEAK (1967)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (JCS) THE STATION IS LOCATED ON CAHTO PEAK, THE HIGHEST PEAK OF SEVERAL, LYING ABOUT 5 MILES, AIR LINE, W OF LAYTONVILLE, AND 200 YARDS W OF STATION CAHTO 1880. THE STATION IS THE APEX OF THE LOOKOUT TOWER WHICH IS A WHITE WOODEN FRAME STRUCTURE 14 FEET SQUARE AND 35 FEET HIGH. THIS TOWER IS INCLOSED FROM THE GROUND UP.
STATION RECOVERY (1964)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1964 (EHS) THE STATION WAS RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION AND IS THE APEX OF THE CAHTO PEAK LOOKOUT TOWER, A 35-FOOT HIGH, 14-FOOT SQUARE, ENCLOSED, WHITE, WOODEN STRUCTURE, LOCATED ON THE WEST ONE OF SEVERAL PEAKS OF CAHTO PEAK, AIRLINE ABOUT 5-1/4 MILES WEST OF LAYTONVILLE, 3-1/4 MILES NORTHEAST OF BRANSCOMB, AND 250 YARDS WEST-SOUTHWEST OF AND SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN TRIANGULATION STATION CAHTO 1880 WHICH IS LOCATED ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF CAHTO PEAK.
Cahto Peak Lookout was dedicated July 10, 1934, following construction of a road to the summit of Cahto (Signal) Peak by the U.S. Forest Service. The site is one of the highest points in Mendocino County and is easily visible from 35 miles away. The lookout has not been staffed since 1990 due to budget cuts.
July 10, 1934: “The forestry department last week opened a new lookout station on the hills near Cahto. It is to be known as Cahto Signal and will cover a large section of the country west of Laytonville. The forestry men have the best setup this year they have ever known in this county for fighting fires. Up to date there have been no serious blazes, and this may be accounted for by the fact that the entire county is dotted with lookout stations, with suppression crews located at convenient places so that no fire can get much of a start without being located quickly.” (Ukiah Dispatch Democrat)
July 27, 1934: “With the assistance of CCC employees, the federal engineers have practically completed grading the new road to the top of Cahto mountain, which is also known as Signal Peak, and rises about six miles west of Laytonville. The new road leaves the county road in Long valley at the Purdy ranch. The work has been under the direction of the forestry department, which will establish a fire lookout station on top of the highest points in the county and is easily visible from the top of Windy Nook, 10 miles due west of Ukiah, and fully 35 miles south of the Signal Peak.” (Dispatch Democrat)
August 10, 1934: “The forestry department last week opened a new lookout station on the hills near Cahto. It is to be known as Cahto Signal and will cover a large section of the country west of Laytonville. The forestry men have the best setup this year they have ever known in this county for fighting fires. Up to date there have been no serious blazes, and this may be accounted for by the fact that the entire county is dotted with lookout stations, with suppression crews located at convenient places so that no fire can get much of a start without being located quickly.” (Ukiah Dispatch Democrat)
October 12, 1934: “The lookout station on Cahto mountain was closed the first of the week and Jack Purdy, the lookout, has moved back to Willits with his family.” (Dispatch Democrat)
April 12, 1935: “Emergency conservation funds have enabled the Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources of California, to complete the forest fire detection system in Mendocino County. The final link in the system was the building of five and three-quarter miles of new road winding up the east side of Cahto Mountain to an elevation of 400 feet, where the new lookout tower is located. The lookout house has a 20-foot tower from which rangers can spot the start of a fire anywhere among thousands of acres of virgin trees, and on grazing lands.” (Oakland Tribune)
May 24, 1935: “The private telephone line the state forestry department has been building for the past several months was connected up with the Cahto mountain lookout station last week and will also be hooked up with the Iron Peak lookout station in a few days. Splendid progress is now being made on the line to the coast. Frank Eberhardt, who had charge of the telephone line construction, has been promoted to the position of foreman of Camp Northwestern and M.E. Potter, who has been holding the position all winter, will resume his position as assistant forest ranger for Mendocino county.” (Dispatch-Democrat)
June 6, 1945: “C.C. Cannon, of Sherwood, will be the new lookout man on Cahto Peak this summer.” (Ukiah Republican Press)
July 23, 1989: “Fire destroyed a Lake View Drive house near here Saturday morning, a state forestry spokesman said.
The Cahto Peak lookout spotted the fire just before 11 a.m. Saturday and reported it to the state forestry department’s Howard Forest headquarters.
Dispatched to fight the fire were three state engines and two engines from the Laytonville Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire was contained in just 30 minutes, the spokesman said, but by then the house was a total loss.” (Ukiah Daily Journal)
1990: This Lookout will not be staffed this fire season due to budget cuts.
National Geodetic Survey
2017 – Any additional data/information pictures sent to me will be added to this website.