Just 40 miles from the quaint mountain town of Truckee in the Tahoe National Forest, you can get your starry skies on at the Calpine Fire Lookout. For winter adventures the tower is ideally suited for skis or snowmobiles. In the summertime you can explore the foothills, and nearby lakes. The lookout features a wraparound porch with unending views, and the cozy interior is decked out with two single beds, propane lights, sink, a stove, and an oven. Just be sure to book six months in advance, and try to time it right along with a meteor shower!
Lodging provided
1 site
Up to guests per site
Up to 6 vehicles
No wheelchair access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Picnic table available


Offered near the campground.


Bikers will find Tahoe to be a mountain biking paradise, with rough roads and unforgettable views. The Downieville ranger distr...Read more


There are hundreds of lakes and many reservoirs within this forest, making motorized and non-motorized boating a go-to acti...Read more


There are huge reservoirs, alpine lakes, rushing rivers, small pools, and everything in between, making this an excellent place...Read more


Hikers searching for incredible views won’t leave disappointed: there are over 500 miles of trails, including the PCT. You can ...Read more

Horseback riding

If you have a horse, bring that fella over to these trails , and if you don’t, there are many local outfitters who can set you...Read more


Kayakers and canoers have plenty of opportunities to row their little boats in the lakes, reservoirs, and streams of this nat...Read more

Wind sports

Nothing beats that fresh mountain air blowing through your hair! Boca Reservoir, Jackson Meadow Reservoir, Stampede Reservoir, ...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

Looking to take a spin in your off highway vehicle? The Little Truckee Summit trail has gentle slopes and Prosser Hill is an ea...Read more


There isn’t much information about climbing, but Donner Summer has traditional and sport climbing areas to challenge all skill ...Read more

Snow sports

What better way to enjoy the wintertime than to go to Tahoe? Tahoe National Forest offers backcountry wilderness for you to exp...Read more


There’s no shortage of swimming here: you’re welcome to splash in lakes, reservoirs, streams, rivers, and swimming holes under ...Read more

Whitewater paddling

If motor boats aren’t your thing, step up your game with a whitewater trip. The Yuba River and the American River offer amazing...Read more

Wildlife watching

Wildlife watchers won’t be disappointed with Tahoe National Forest. The wetland areas are great places for birding, especially ...Read more


Natural features you'll find at Calpine Lookout.

River, stream, or...
Swimming hole
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7 Reviews

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Drop some Calpine Lookout knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Kristen
Kristen R.
didn't provide a recommendation.
March 5th, 2021

Nice. Almost impossible to rent. Bay area people rent out everything months in advanced.

Hipcamper Brandon & Marsha
Brandon & Marsha E.
didn't provide a recommendation.
January 26th, 2018

Was fortunate enough to book this for a January 2018 winter camp out (high demand took over 2 years to get a reservation). It was our first time and was by far one of the coolest places. Awesome views and so pretty in a snow storm. Fire Tower had cell phone service (not sure if that’s good or bad) & was surprisingly well stocked with all kinds of items including: gas heater, gas stove, & gas lights (gas is provided), Dishes, cookware, sink, comfy 6” mattress pads, and a variety of knick knacks like books, games, etc. Couple items that were not included: a shovel for the snow/ice on stairs (salt is provided), a head lamp, spare mantles for gas lanterns, matches, & plenty of water. Also: there are 2 gate codes that you need to call to get.

Hipcamper Stefan K.
recommends this listing.
April 2nd, 2018
Hipcamper Steve H.
recommends this listing.
February 11th, 2018
Hipcamper Brandon & Marsha E.
recommends this listing.
January 22nd, 2018
Hipcamper Nicole E.
recommends this listing.
June 9th, 2017
Hipcamper Will F.
recommends this listing.
June 6th, 2017
Tahoe National Forest
United States
Phone Number
(530) 994-3401
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
39.679° N, 120.463° W
Unknown price
Cabin & Lodging: 1 Site
(Up to people per site)