Tower is located on Backbone Mountain in Tucker
County. The elevation is approximately 3,736 feet
above sea level. It is accessible most of the year
by a dirt road. The road is not maintained in the
yearly, however, in the winter months the tower is
accessible by x-country skis or snowshoes only. The
fire tower sits on the mountaintop. Climb the 133
steps for breathtaking views. Although the cabin is
closed to the public, you are welcome to climb to
just below the cabin structure.
find breathtaking views of the town of Parsons,
Blackwater Canyon, Otter Creek Wilderness, Canaan
Mountain, the Cheat River watershed, and even the
Mount Storm Power station can all be seen from the
is a small family picnic area with 3 tables, garbage
cans, and a vault toilet located 0.1 miles below the
tower parking lot.
Parsons, you will travel approximately 7 miles north
(east) on 219N. Turn right on Forest Road 18. Travel
0.4 miles and stay to the right at the Y
intersection. This is FR 717. Continue on FR 717 1.6
miles to the parking lot below the tower.
drive is recommended for the truly hardy folks who
are traveling with a high clearance vehicle and who
don't mind a rough dirt road. The drive accesses
trails and scenic views overlooking the Blackwater
This scenic overlook is located approximately 1.5
miles from the junction of FR 717 and FR 18. The
views are spectacular, but the road to get there is
extremely rough and passenger cars are not
recommended (see above Driving FR 18).
biking: There are several trails in the area.
Trail #118. Which is 1 mile in length and begins
at the picnic sites below the tower.
Rim Trail # 117 Is 3 miles in length and begins
0.1 miles below the picnic area.
Trail # 142 Is 4.1 miles in length and located
along FR 18.
are no fees. Reservations are not accepted at this