Rocky Butte Lookout
|Registry Numbers||US 1875, CA 70 (view other lookout sites in United States, California)|
|Date Registered||December 22, 2019|
|Nominated by||Brad Eells|
|Location||San Luis Obispo County, California|
N 35° 40.515' W 121° 03.229' (view using Google Maps)
N 35° 40' 31" W 121° 03' 14"
N 35.675258° W 121.053818°
|Elevation||3,357 ft (1,023 m)|
|Administered by||California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire)|
|Cooperators||US Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest|
The tower was a CCC (USFS Plan No. L-701) structure. The original cab (USFS Plan No. BC-301) was replaced with the Forest Service's standard "all steel" cab (Plan Number CL-30) in 1977. The existing cab had originally replaced a CCC era lookout located upon Cerro Alto. After the Los Padres National Forest closed the Cerro Alto Lookout Station, CDF acquired the cab and had CDC crews dismantle, transport and reassemble it on top of the Rocky Butte tower. The replacement of a BC-301 cab with a CL-30 cab had seriously compromised the integrity of this property. The tower has also been altered: metal siding added, doors and windows replaced, upper story room remodeled. These alterations do not conform to the original design.
The station is located upon a ridge line (that is lower and to the north of Rocky Butte) in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. The area is covered in chaparral, manzanita, annual grasses, and a scattering of madrone, oaks and pine. A 10,000 gallon concrete water storage tank is located to the southeast of the lookout. A vault and microwave tower are nearby. The lookout station was near the William Randolf Hearst Ranch, it overlooks Hearst Castle. The site is not open to the public, being some 7 miles from paved road. (MVT 10/91)
The lookout structure was removed some time after 1999 to make way for a communications facility.
Some Rocky Butte items and photos are on display at the Cal Fire South Bay Training Center in Baywood, California.
Photo courtesy of Steve Maurer
Photo courtesy of Josh Taylor
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