Martis Peak Fire Lookout

You have traveled all over the country and one of your favorite things to do when you get to a new city is go up in a high-rise observation tower such as the Hancock building in Chicago or New York’s Empire State Building, so that you can see everything. But you are in Truckee, California and there are no skyscrapers in town. Fortunately, the Martis Peak Fire Lookout is the next best thing.

There is a way to get a bird’s eye view of Truckee and a whole lot more. All you have to do is strap on your hiking boots and head up to the Martis Peak Fire Lookout where you can see everything from Truckee, to Lake Tahoe to the Western Sierra Peaks and beyond.

There are two different North Lake tahoe hiking trails to get to the lookout. You can take Martis Peak Road, which is paved, or the Tahoe Rim Trail. once you are there you will see Northern California from a building that is listed in the National Historic Lookout Registry.

Martis Peak Road

This paved road is about an eight-mile round trip and takes the average hiker about five hours to complete. The hike has a gradual elevation gain of about 1700 feet.

If you are traveling from Truckee, you will find the trailhead on the north side of Highway 267 just under a mile before Brockway Summit.

Tahoe Rim Trail

If you think hiking on paved roads is for chumps, or if you are looking to get a little mountain biking in, you will want to check out the Martis Peak Fire lookout. It is about a mile south of Martis Peak Road. The road may be narrow, but it is easy to follow, as there are blue markers all along the way. In addition to being unpaved, this trail is about a mile longer than Martis Peak.

Martis Peak Fire Lookout

Built in 1914, the Fire lookout was active until the 1970s. Although vandals tried to destroy it in the 1990s, it has since been restored. The small wooden structure is open to the public, and you can see three mountain peaks, as well as lake Tahoe and Truckee from its viewing area.


Although it is worth the trip, an eight- or nine-mile hike can leave a person longing for a warm bed, a hot shower, and other creature comforts. Tahoe Signature Properties can find you a beautiful vacation home with all the amenities. Give us a call at 530-562-4242 or browse our vacation rentals today to find the perfect vacation home!

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