Custer Peak Road to be temporarily closed for Fire Lookout Project

A Forest Service news release

Spearfish, SD, August 1, 2022 — National Forest System Road (NFSR) 216.2, also known as Custer Peak Road, will be closed August 8, 2022 - September 18, 2022 for safety during a construction project on the Custer Peak Fire Lookout.

HistoriCorps (non-profit organization specializes in preserving historic structures on public lands) and Boxelder Job Corps Center will be working with employees from the Black Hills National Forest on the historic Custer Peak Fire Lookout south of Lead/Deadwood off Hwy 385.

Contracted engineers completed a structural evaluation in 2021 and recommended a list of repairs to the lookout. The project will repair the catwalk, railing, stairs, and cab support structure.

“I know the temporary closure will affect people’s ability to visit Custer Peak Lookout, but it is needed for safety reasons while repairs are made to preserve the historic value and keep it functioning as an important fire lookout in the northern Black Hills,” said Steve Kozel, Northern Hills District Ranger, Black Hills National Forest.

Custer Peak Fire Lookout was built in 1911. In 1935 it was replaced with a cupola building, and in 1941 the Civilian Conservation Corps used local natural materials to construct the fire lookout you see today.

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