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Those would be awesome to visit. The prices listed on some of those was very affordable too
 
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I have misplaced the link but there is a federal program of making unused government recreational assets available to the general public for little or no cost ( FLREA, or Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act) . Part of this program in my area includes several free renovated fire lookout towers atop local mountains. One of them I posted a visit to last summer is called "Sardine Peak", free. Deal of the century! A call, and/or visit to Sierraville's Ranger Station makes a reservation and they give you a combination to a locked gate and key-box on the tower. Thus you have exclusive access to not only the tower but the last couple hundred yards of access road.
I'll re-post with photos and info if possible. Good place to make reservation in advance for full moons, summer equinox, eclipses, meteor showers, etc....an absolutely fantastic romantic getaway if it wasn't for the twin single beds.:(

P.S. The renovation work at Sardine Peak was "Made in America" in that the labor was volunteered by a local Boy Scout troop. They did excellent work; before the tower had been in dis-use and somewhat vandalized. Looks perfect now!


Anyways in addition to the picnic & fire ring/BBQ in the picture there is a modern vault toilet a bit down the road. Inside are new twin mattresses, a wood stove, sink ( bring your own water ) propane lights, table, two chairs and 360 degrees of windows and covered veranda. When we checked last summer there were still a few weekends available as well as many mid-week stays. Not a well know program.
 

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That is cool info thanks Fred.
 
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FLREA is up for renewal and reorganization this year, provides the authorization basis for most fee collections. Expect fee increase requests if the bill is renewed.. We'll have to see how new Trump Administration weighs in. For example more than twice as many Senior Lifetime Passes are issued each year than the standard $80 annual pass.
FLREA Reauthorization - American Recreation Coalition
 
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I have camped at the Alder Ridge lookout - it overlooks the hiway 50 in the Strawberry area. While we were setting up camp a C130 flew below us in the valley above the hiway....very loud! Beautiful place. I was told you can rent the small cabin at the base of the lookout. We just bring tents etc.
 

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Many a year ago I got my first invitation to the top of a look-out tower at Alder Ridge back when it was actively maned during the fire season. "Manning" it was a grandmotherly type semi-retiree who bent my ear with interesting stories while quizzing me about latest events "down off". Fire Wardens lived lonelier lives back then.iThis was back before days of cell phones, back when the internet was just a dream of the nerds at Stanford Research Institute trying to figure out how to spend that DARPA grant money. Who can still remember punch-cards?

Donzo, is this it? Looks taller than what I remember..

124530128.jpg
 
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