Gardner fire tower - Mt Tamalpais CA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made extensive improvements around Mt. Tamalpais – a favorite hiking spot for San Franciscans all the way back to the Gold Rush era (1850s).
A major feature of this work was a new fire lookout tower on the east peak of the mountain, which is in the Marin Municipal Water District area. Built of native stone and wood, the tower still stands.
As the plaque notes, the tower was renamed in 1937 in honor of the chief warden of Tamalpais Forest Fire District, who led the fight against a major fire in 1929 and died July 13, 1935.
There is, alas, no mention of the CCC at the site. But the fire tower and its CCC origins have recently been featured in videos and news articles.
Gary Yost created “A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout,” a short documentary on the routine and spectacular views he enjoyed as a volunteer fire lookout on Mt. Tamalpais. The film includes time-lapses of the ebb and flow of the fog and of the night sky.
The Guardian newspaper ran a story in 2021 which praised the tower:
"Wildfire watchmen: The mountain tower where lookouts spot blazes," The Guardian, 7-3-2021.
Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on July 23, 2021.
Additional contributions by Matt Cerkel, Marin Municipal Water District.
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The lookout is actually on MMWD’s Mount Tamalpais Watershed. It is owned by MMWD and is leased to the Marin County Fire Department.