Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.01600°N / 118.614°W
Additional Information County: Tulare
Activities Activities: Hiking, Sport Climbing, Bouldering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8142 ft / 2482 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mule Peak is in the Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument and is the site of a manned fire lookout. It is along the Great Western Divide and overlooks the Tule River Indian Reservation to the west and provides superb views towards the north including: Moses, Maggie, and Slate Mountain. Looking northeast you can just spot Olancha Peak. Towards the east you see the mighty Kern River Canyon and southward you see Baker Point and Tobias Peak.

Class 4 & 5 rock cliffs and pinnacles about 250 yards southwest of the lookout tower may interest climbers.

Getting There

To get to Mule Peak it is recommended you purchase a Sequoia National Forest Map. Take the Western Divide Highway M-107 south of Ponderosa about 8 miles. Take Forest Service Road 22S03 which climbs west steeply from the Western Divide. This road is a dirt road and a vehicle with high-clearance is necessary. 4wd isn't necessary but may be helpful. The road ends after 5 miles at a small turn-around parking area and from here it is a steep 3/4 mile climb along a rocky trail to the top of Mule Peak. The elevation gain is about 550 feet.

The Western Divide Highway and 22S03 are open from late May/early June through late October/early November, depending on weather.

Sequoia National Forest map based on Sentinel Peak Quad that shows Mule Peak

Other Sequoia National Forest Quad Maps

Mule Peak Road Sign

Red Tape

No permits or fees to hike to Mule Peak. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics when you visit this area. Be sure and carry water with you as no water is available along the way or at the lookout.

Upon reaching the lookout, a sign may be posted that will inform you if the lookout is open for public visitation. A Forest Service employee resides at the Mule Peak Lookout tower. It is utilized as an office as well as the home for the summer months while the lookout is on duty. This person is responsible for detecting fires and relaying radio messages to a dispatcher, who in turn sends firefighters and support equipment to extinguish the reported fire. The employee is usually on duty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday but may have the lookout closed due to fires or repair work. If the gate is open, you are welcome to visit the lookout, talk with the Forest Service employee, and enjoy the view, which is spectacular.

No more than 4 – 5 people are recommended on the lookout at a time, as there is very little space. Please sign the daily log so we know you have been there. The lookout has just a couple of simple rules for safety; please do not sit on the catwalk railing or lean against any part of the building, particularly the windows or smudge them. The lookout needs a clean, unobstructed view at all times. The windows are very fragile and break easily.

Mule Peak LookoutMule Peak Lookout is on the right & Maggie Mountain is in the distance


The closest developed campground to Mule Peak is Redwood Meadow. It is southeast of the peak about 7 miles. For more information on Redwood Meadow and other Sequoia National Forest Campgrounds, please click on the link below. To make reservations visit

Sequoia National Forest Campgrounds

You can also camp outside developed campgrounds in the Sequoia National Forest. Do not drive off road, pack out what you pack in, bring your own water, and make sure you have a campfire permit if you wish to have a campfire. Campfire Permits can be obtained free-of-charge at any Forest Service, California Department of Forestry (CDF), or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office.

Bone Meadow near Mule PeakNearby Bone Meadow has several nice dispersed campsites

External Links

Sequoia National Forest

Tulare Mountains Weather Forecast

Buck Rock Foundation

Sequoia National Forest Lookouts


The Mule Peak Lookout Tower was constructed in 1936 by the CCC. They had to pack in all the materials and to this day all supplies must either be packed in or delivered via helicopter.

For More Info

Sequoia National Forest
Giant Sequoia National Monument
Tule River & Hot Springs Ranger District
32588 Hwy 190
Springville, CA 93265
(559) 539-2607

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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T. White

T. White - Nov 11, 2018 5:53 pm - Hasn't voted

Trailhead turnoff

Note: the road doesn't actually end at the trailhead -- you have to take 22S03J to the left about 5 miles after exiting the highway. I passed it and went a few hundred yards along an increasingly decrepit stretch before realizing my mistake.

T. White

T. White - Sep 21, 2021 5:14 pm - Hasn't voted

Sad news

Mule Peak has been burned by the Windy Fire and the lookout was destroyed, despite being wrapped with fire-resistant material:

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