The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Winter Solstice 1998 || Volume I, Number 3

Placenames of the Wilderness
Third in a Series

Ventana Double Cone Lookout (L.O.)
By Gordon Johnson

The Ventana Double Cone Lookout was one of six fire lookout facilities that at one time kept watch over the Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. The others were located on Chews Ridge, Cone Peak, Junipero Serra Peak, Pinyon Peak, and Three Peaks.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the Ventana Double Cone Lookout, along with a supply trail that connected it to the Carmel River Guard Station by way of Rattlesnake Creek, in 1934-35. It stood on the southerly summit of the Double Cone, commanding an expansive view that took in the entire Big Sur River watershed, most of the Little Sur River watershed, and much of the Carmel River watershed.

With the opening of the Bottchers Gap Guard Station, supplies for the summer fire lookout were then provided by a twice-monthly pack train led by the resident Forest Patrolman there, who would make the approach by way of Skinner Ridge and the Ventana Double Cone trail, often overnighting at the old Comings Cabin en route. The lookout facility was decommissioned in the mid 1960's, the structure catching fire by lightening strike and burning to the ground shortly thereafter. All that remains today is the stone-and-mortar foundation along with designation on some older maps.

Sources include:

Los Padres National Forest, (Monterey Ranger District) Map, 1966
Clark, Donald T. Monterey County Place Names, Kestrel Press 1991
Personal communication, Forest Patrolman Bruce Alexander

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