Places & Spaces Library

Fire Lookout Towers

Our relationship with fire goes way back, but we are still engaged in a constant negotiation with the flame to this day. Fire lookout towers stand as beacons in the everlasting conversation between natural processes and human interests.

Tie Hacking and Splash Dams

While railroad towns like Cheyenne were already developing reputations and nicknames like “Hell on Wheels,” the railroad industry was also thriving in the mountains that span the vast spaces between those towns. The early period of railroad construction throughout the west formed a strong connection between interstate commerce and transportation and what would become our nation’s national forests.

Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout

Though little is known about this specific tower, one can only imagine the types of thoughts that must have occupied a lookout’s mind as they sat stranded, completely alone at 10,000 feet, watching for orange glows on the horizon.