dispatches & explored

Lookout! No. 6: Cuyama Peak

Sixth in a Series

Cuyama Peak

The Cuyama Peak lookout was erected in 1934, but — like the few lookouts still standing in the southern Los Padres — fell into disuse in the 1960s. Utilized by the AWS during WWII, the site’s cabin is still on the premises … barely. It’s collapsed in recent years and looks to be making a slow crawl down the slope. For the time being, it’s still recognizable as a cabin, and so for now we can consider it to be one of very few remaining in California. (Thorn Point features the only other one still standing in the southern districts.)

The cab typically remains open, and both it and the platform on which it stands still remain ideal vantage points for bird-watchers. Condors can on occasion be spied from here. And while the tower is vehicle-accessible via Dry Canyon, the road is not advised for passenger cars. As the drive up and into Santa Barbara Canyon is a fairly long approach for most, I’ve often wondered how it was back when the Forest Service still maintained (and had access to) the old Brubaker Trail (24W01).

Unlike Frazier Mountain and La Cumbre Peak, this lookout site isn’t cluttered by all the communications towers, dishes, and other distractions.

Just a lone lookout in a very lonely corner of the forest.

Peak images courtesy DSC.

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