October 22, 1937: "Construction of one and one half miles of high standard trail from Needles Ridge Road above Quaking Aspen to the Needles has been practically completed by Civilian Conservation Corps men working out of the Springville camp. The trail was constructed in order that the forest service could erect the new lookout station to be built there. The Needles was one of the points selected in the statewide visibility study for a permanent lookout station. Owing to the extreme precipitousness of the Needle, it will be necessary to construct a stairway to the top." (The Fresno Bee The Republican)
August 19, 1938: "CCC enrollees engaged in the construction of a lookout building on the Needles rock, immediately west of Kern river and approximately 42 miles north of Kernville, are finding the same problems which might be encountered by those who construct the skyscrapers of Manhattan, according to a report from the offices of Forest Supervisor J.E. Elliott of the Sequoia National Forest. The building is being constructed on the tip of the Needle at an elevation of more than 8000 feet. The area of the tip is approximately 14 feet by 14 feet with a sheer drop on three sides varying from 60 to more than 400 feet. A picked crew of boys who are sure-footed and unaffected by height are working with safety belts." (Bakersfield Californian)
June 15, 1939: "Perched in probably the most precipitous fire lookouts in the west lives a former Tularean, Millard R. James. He was placed in charge of the new fire lookout atop the 8,280-foot Needles rock in the Sierra Nevada above Quaking Aspen, when the spectacular new lookout cabin was opened Sunday. The Needles lookout cabin is reached only by wooden stairs, and materials for ita construction were carried up the rock piece by piece. Nearest road to the Needles is 1 1/2 miles distant, and materials were carried to the rock by pack animal. This is in the back country of the Springville ranger district of the Sequoia National Forest, along the Western Divide. From the rock can be seen Mount Whitney and the Kern river canyon, as well as Farewell Gap and many other Sierra regions. The lookout gets two days a month off. Being in a cabin perched high on a needle-shaped rock reached only by stairs is little exercise for James, who in his Tulare high school days was valley tennis champion." (Advance-Register)
September 21, 1939: "Millard R. James, a ranger, spends all but two days a month 'sitting on top of the world' alone in a cabin perched atop the 8,200-foot Needles Rock--most precipitous fire lookout station in the west. His only exercise is climbing the narrow wooden stairs up the needle shaped rock. Materials for the cabin's construction were carried up the rock piece by piece after being transported from the nearest road by pack animal." (The Cullman Democrat - Alabama)
August 29, 1942: "A severe quake was reported at 8:55 P.M. at the Frog Meadow and Tobias guard stations. The forest men reported a rumbling noise accompanied the tremor. The Needles lookout stated the vibration was very severe at his station, and people at Quaking Aspen were awakened from their sleep. (The Fresno Bee The Republican)
June 12, 1972: "A 270-acre fire that started early Sunday in the Sequoia National Forest north of the Needles Lookout and the Kern River 33 miles northeast of Porterville, is still burning out of control. Forestry officials said there will be 400 to 500 men on the fire tonight including crews from the Angeles and Sierra Forests. Forestry officials feared the fire would grow due to the steepness of the terrain. Many areas are too steep to build fire lines on, officials said. There are seven air-tankers dropping retardants around the clock and helicopters will be ferrying men into the fire area. Ironically, the fire, which started near the Needles Lookout Station, first was spotted by the pilot of a reconnaissance plane searching for lightning "sleepers." Marie Cox, who is stationed in the lookout, did not see the smoke or flames until after the initial report had been made. Because the flames were heading for the tower, she was ordered by telephone to evacuate her position. By the time help arrived, she was packed and ready and walked nearly a mile to the road's end. Ultimately the fire switched its course, and she went back on duty." (Fresno Bee)
August 21, 1975: "Using hand tools only, a crew of six cleared the Needles Lookout Trail. Brush that had overgrown the 1 1/2 mile trail was cut and removed to provide hikers a safe pathway." (Bakersfield Californian)
July 28, 2011: The lookout was destroyed by a structure fire that was not related to the nearby Lion Fire that had been burning for several weeks. Reports indicate the fire was started by an ember from the wood burning heating stove in the lookout, and that the ember fell to the shingled roof and the lookout staff was unable to extinguish the fire and was forced to flee.