The restoration of the Hahns Peak Lookout was a dynamic and multifaceted project. Historic Routt County was proud to partner with the USDA Forest Service, HistoriCorps, and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to save this special place.
In 2013, HistoriCorps, in along with volunteers from the Trail Crew members of the USDA Forest Service, conducted emergency stabilization on the lookout.
Thanks to grants from the State Historical Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Museum and Heritage Fund of the Board of Routt County Commissioners, historic restoration on the lookout was able to continue over the next several summers. Work included reinforcing the floor and walls, electrically grounding the structure, and bringing the lookout to its 1942 – 1947 period of significance.
In 2016 Colorado Preservation Inc. declared Hahns Peak officially saved! Though the structure was stable at that point, restoration work remained. Work in July 2017 focused on concrete and plaster repairs to the structure’s exterior and interior. Hikers passing by volunteered to aid the HistoriCorps crew in carrying over 1,000 pounds of masonry materials—sand, water, gravel, and lime— from the saddle to the summit. We even had the privilege of being supported by a crew from Team Rubicon. It was a true community effort!
A Team Rubicon volunteer carries a bucket of sand and backpack filled with gravel to the summit.
After completing the restoration, Historic Routt County worked work with Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Programs to erect interpretive signs at the peak so that hikers can learn about the history and significance of the Hahns Peak Lookout onsite.
Unfortunately, in summer 2018, vandals damaged the windows and doors of the Hahns Peak Fire Tower. We assembled the same dedicated crew again to repair the damage and strategized ways to prevent vandalism from happening in the future, which lead to the creation of HRC’s Stewardship Program in 2019.