Year Listed: 2014
County: Routt County
Construction Date: 1912
Threat When Listed: Natural Elements – Lightning
Status: SAVE for 2016
Constructed at the top of Hahn’s Peak at 10,839 feet in 1912, the Hahn’s Peak Lookout is located on the historic Hahn’s Peak mine. The site was initially constructed by the Forest Service as a part of the early Forest Service fire management strategy. It was one of the first officially funded lookouts constructed in Colorado, and rebuilt during the Great Depression, and updated shortly after during World War II. The lookout is representative of the early conservation movement, a symbol for fire management strategies in the early years of the Forest Service, and role of the Forest Service during World War II. It is a component of the historic mining landscape developed by the Hahn’s Peak Gold Mining and Milling Company.
The site’s gradual decommissioning during the late 1940s and early 1950s are indicative of changing perceptions of the role of manned lookout towers versus using airplanes and other aerial technology for spotting forest fires.
The site has experienced severe deterioration. There has been significant deterioration of this structure most immediately in the last five years. Since the lookout is a popular recreation location, it has been victim to defacement, and most recently, there had been both a natural fire, and a fire caused by lightning in the structure. These fires have threatened the wooden floor and cab, and the foundation is eroding from a combination of extreme weather conditions and neglect. The restoration of the foundation, and a combination of rehabilitation and restoration will save this structure and make it a cornerstone of the Routt National Forest’s Recreation and Heritage programs.