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Pinedale Online > News > August 2019 > Open House at the Deadline Ridge Lookout August 24

Open House August 24 2019. Photo by Sublette County Historic Preservation Board.
Open House August 24 2019

Clean It Fix It Paint It. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Clean It Fix It Paint It
Members of the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board worked over several summers to restore the Deadline Fire Lookout.

Working on the roof. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Working on the roof
Dave Vlcek and Bob Beiermann work on the roof of the lookout. Shingles were replaced, the chimney fixed, and the roof repainted back to the original Forest Service colors with the '8' designation for aerial identification.

View with solar panels. Photo by Pinedale Online.
View with solar panels
This is how the lookout looked before restoration was begun. The Forest Service relocated to solar panels that powered the nearby radio equipment.
Open House at the Deadline Ridge Lookout August 24
by Dawn Ballou, Sublette County Historic Preservation Board
August 21, 2019

The Sublette County Historic Preservation Board and Bridger-Teton National Forest invite the public to come to an Open House for the Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout on Saturday, August 24th from 11AM to 2PM.

The Lookout is remotely located on Deadline Ridge in the Wyoming Range, but it is well worth the trip, both for the view and to see this restored iconic structure that represents such an important part of the history of forest management.

Built in 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, this fire lookout was used into the late 1960s. It was later decommissioned once airplanes and better communication technology allowed for faster ways to detect and report wildfires. As happens with so many of these structures that are no longer in active use, the lookout fell into disrepair and was deteriorating.

Very few of the original fire lookouts remain on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Members of the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board took on the project of bringing this lookout and its important history back to life. Board members conducted a "Clean It, Fix It, Paint It" project which lasted three years. Board members repaired, rebuilt and replaced several windows, repaired and replaced roof shingles, and repaired the chimney on the roof. More dramatically, with cooperation from archaeologists from the Forest Service to find the original paint colors, the volunteers repainted the lookout back to its original colors. This included repainting the large white "8" on the roof which identified it from the air. Board members also worked with the Green River Valley Museum to put in an interpretive display about the lookout at the Museum.

The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout is located high in the Wyoming Range. It sits at about 10,000 feet elevation and has an incredible view of the Wyoming Range and Snyder Basin area. It is about 45 minute drive southwest of Big Piney taking somewhat of a maze of backcountry forest roads to get there. The snow just recently came off from the area, and conditions are somewhat muddy in places. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Parking is very limited, so for the Open House, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

During the Open House visitors will have a chance to take in the sweeping scenic view, look at the restoration work, and sign the Lookout guest register. Forest Service representatives will be on hand with educational materials. 2019 is the 75th Anniversary of Smokey Bear for the Forest Service, so there will be additional information about 50 years of forest management and public education about fire suppression and fire’s role in the ecology of a healthy forest.

Refreshments (cookies and lemonade) will be served. Please feel free to bring your own bigger lunch if you wish. Bring a folding chair or picnic blanket if you want to be more comfortable. Accommodations are very rustic and there are no services or conveniences at the Lookout. Also, the wind can be very strong at times, so make sure whatever you bring can withstand the weather and won’t blow away. Very young children should be carefully supervised at this site. Sunscreen and mosquito spray also are recommended.

Directions are a bit complicated, so watch for the arrow direction signs along the way. From Big Piney, go south three miles and take the Calpet Road turn off and then follow the signs. For more info call 307-360-7689 or email

Related Links
  • - More information about the Deadline Fire Lookout project (and directions and map)

  • Alidade. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    The Green River Valley Museum has a companion display for the Deadline Fire Lookout. It includes an alidade used for firefinding.

    Old phone. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Old phone
    Artifacts in the Deadline Fire Lookout display at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney.

    Putting new windows in. Photo by Carmel Kail.
    Putting new windows in
    In August 2019, volunteers went back and put in new restored windows and interpretive signs in the fire lookout.
    Pinedale Online > News > August 2019 > Open House at the Deadline Ridge Lookout August 24

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