In 1938, the United States government’s First Service tapped the Division of Engineering to assemble a 131 page guide complete of all of the then finished or planned WPA project Fire Lookout structures.

Standard Lookout Structure Plans: 1938

Inside the guide is a full resource and schematics of all designs the United States Forest Service used. It features detailed blueprints, instructions, helpful guides for assembly, alternative material guides and a part list. If someone were so inclined, all they would need to do is select a tower from this list and give the blueprint and parts sheet to a contractor and say have at it.

These fire tower structures are just about the most romantic part of outdoor culture and is a dwindling resource, as many go into disrepair or disuse. The resource guide like the one above allows us to rebuild what once was, exactly the way it was the first time so that others can enjoy them as well.

If you have not had the opportunity to stay the night in a fire tower, many are available for rent throughout the camping season at It is a truly incredible experience that places you above the tree line, and in some cases – the cloud line. Sunsets and sunrises are totally unique.