Rehabilitation of the Ute Mountain Lookout Tower

09/09/2013 – 09/13/2013 all-day
Ashley National Forest
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Rehabilitation of the Ute Mountain Lookout Tower @ Ashley National Forest

Ute Mountain Lookout Tower is the first and the last standing fire tower with living quarters above ground in Utah, offering a panoramic view of the picturesque Uinta Mountain Range. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935-1937, the tower served as the fire lookout’s living quarters, thirty feet above the ground with only 196 square feet of space. While the lookout is no longer used to spot fires, it is a significant tourist attraction in the area and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it stands as a monument to the early years of fire prevention and detection of the Forest Service, an important part of our cultural heritage.

Dates: Session 1: Aug. 26th-30th; Session 2: Sept. 3rd-6th; Session 3: Sept 9th-13th; Session 4: Sept 16th-20th

Scope of Work: Ute Tower was a tourist attraction until its closing September of 2008 due to decay in the tower legs and stairway. HistoriCorps volunteers will reroof the tower, replace deteriorated timbers, and rehabilitate the windows, learning how to:

  • Reroof the cab
  • Remove, repair, and rebuild cross ties
  • Remove and rebuild stairs, catwalk and railing
  • Retro-fit joists and beams beneath platform
  • Scrape and paint all exterior surfaces

Lodging and Directions: Take Hwy 44 to Sheep Creek Geological Loop. The tower is located two and one-half miles west of the loop. Take the turn off on the unpaved and narrow road towards Spirit Lake. The tower is located 51 miles northwest of Vernal, UT at 8,834 feet elevation, Near Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Volunteers will be camping at Summit Springs Guard Station, approximately 3.5 miles east of Ute Tower. Volunteers also have the option of camping at the Ute Tower Site. More specific directions will be given upon registration.

Additional Information: The project will be managed and supervised by two or more HistoriCorps instructors and will be designed to optimize learning opportunities. Camping, tools, safety equipment, and meals will be provided by HistoriCorps but transportation and to and from the project is the responsibility of the participant. Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own camping gear. All crew members must be physically capable of lifting, climbing, bending, and kneeling for sustained periods each day at high altitudes in variable weather; previous carpentry, roofing/shingling, maintenance, historic preservation, landscaping, and/or construction experience helpful, but not required. If you have a fear of heights, this project is not recommended.

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