Crane Flat Lookout – Buena Vista, California - Atlas Obscura

Crane Flat Lookout

Buena Vista, California

The first lookout in Yosemite.  


This 1931, fire lookout, with 360-degree views of Yosemite National Park was the first of its kind inside the park.

On a clear day, visitors can see the Half Dome and the other significant peaks across the park. It’s a well-maintained example of the National Park Service Rustic architecture style typical of park and recreation facilities designed during the 20th century. The tower is open to the public and visitors are free to enter and experience the full splendor of the natural surroundings. Little has changed inside since its creation. 

The lookout was the first of its kind in the park, and the Crane Flat along with other early towers were engineered to blend in with the surrounding forest. The Crane Flat was used up until the 1980s.

Know Before You Go

Take the short single-lane road from the main road up to the parking lot. Make sure to use the trail from the parking lot to the lookout and not the driveway as this is an active fire and rescue facility.

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November 21, 2022

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