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Explore Hayfork Bally Lookout

Hayfork, California


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Added by Becky Eldredge

Easy to access fire lookout tower outside of Hayfork, CA at 6,256 feet. Overlooks the Hayfork Valley to the South, Trinity Alps to the North, Mt. Shasta/Mt. Lassen to the East, and the Trinity River valley. Gorgeous scenic panoramic views so bring your camera! Lots of forest service roads to explore on the way too!

Follow a maze of well-maintained forest roads through the woods, fields, mountains, and ridges of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest to get to Hayfork Bally Lookout standing at 6,256 feet. Great for photos and panoramics- you can see for miles in nearly any direction (trinity alps, hayfork valley, mt. shasta/lassen, and the trinity river valley). The lookout itself is usually closed/locked however there are plenty of amazing views and information here. Climb the rock pile just beside the lookout tower and find the original benchmark. Watch for wildlife/wildflowers over the expansive view. Explore the old radar facility buildings. Or just try to find the peaks and valleys marked on your national forest map from way up!

GETTING THERE:From Hwy 3 in Hayfork, take Big Creek Road (follow signs for timberjack lodge) and follow through the valley for about 7 miles. Make a left onto Route 16 going towards Forest Service Road 33N52. Stay on Route 16 for about 5 miles and keep left at the split to 33N52 (unpaved but well maintained). Follow 33N52 for about 3 miles and make a left onto Hayfork Divide & follow to the lookout tower (about 1 mile). Hayfork Divide road at the lookout is usually only open during the day, and the lookout tower is usually locked up.

HISTORY:Some sort of fire lookout facility was in place in/around 1920- a Ms. Lucy lived there at the time and lost 4 cattle to violent lightning storm that started 24 fires. The U.S. Air Force acquired 1/4 of an acre near the lookout for an unmanned Gap-Filler radar station. The improvements included a concrete block building, two 15,000 gallon underground fuel tanks, antenna tower, fencing and an improved gravel road. In 1963 the radar station was discontinued and the property returned to the forest service. The radar station is now in use as a commercial radio repeater site.

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