Fairview Peak Lookout

Gunnison National Forest

Elevation: 13214 ft.

Status: Standing, in ruins

Year Built: Between 1911 and 1915

Structure Type: Unique stone, originally with cupola

Google Map

Fairview Peak lookout has the distinction of having been the highest elevation lookout (by far) in the United States, as well as the only lookout in Gunnison National Forest. According to Ray Kresek, it is likely the highest elevation lookout in the world. One of the earliest lookouts in CO (along with Leon Peak lookout), the site was staffed only one year and abandoned due to severe lightning. The unique stone structure still stands today, having survived brutal high altitude weather for nearly a century.

Please contact us if you have information about the sources for the unattributed photos on this page.

Restoration Status

Restoration work is being done under the direction of Justin Lawrence, Archaeologist with the Gunnison National Forest.
email: jlawrence@fs.fed.us
phone: 970-642-4420

The restoration is on hold until funding becomes available for its completion. Currently, all the stone work is complete. In the future they hope to install the second window, rebuild the cupola, and add a lightning rod to diffuse the frequent lightning strikes in the area. Justin Lawrence has set up a Forest Service Donation account to which people may donate funds exclusively for the Fairview Peak Lookout. If anyone is interested in doing so they may contact Mr. Lawrence and he will explain the procedure to them.

Visit the National Historic Lookout entry for Fairview Peak.

Fairview with cupola

Nance family

View through window

Justin Lawrence, 2009