Coconino National Forest Happy Jack, Arizona 86024Official Website
One of the few towers of its design (CT-2) remaining in the U.S., Buck Mountain Lookout is located in the Long Valley Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest. The 30′ wood tower, built in 1939, has an R-3 modified L-4 14′ x 14′ live-in cab with a catwalk. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
For safety and preservation, the tower is not open to the public. The hike to the tower follows Forest Road 229B, a scenic forested dirt route that makes a mild uphill climb. The road is open to motorized travel up to the 1.5-mile point, where a gate blocks the way and only foot travel is allowed on the final mile to the tower.
Slightly steeper than the lower road, the summit walk segment passes among shady stands of pines, oaks, and flowering shrubs. Judging from the chatter in the treetops, this area is a haven for birds. I observed woodpeckers, ravens, Stellar’s jays, hawks, and dozens of other species that swooped by too quickly for me to identify.