Cold Springs Guard Station, constructed in 1934, is a historic site tucked into the Ochoco National Forest. It served a special role as the switchboard station
connecting phone calls between various fire lookouts and guard stations during the summer months, as well as housing for the fire guard and his family. The current cabin replaced an earlier one that was destroyed by fire. Cold Springs Guard Station continued to be used by Forest Service employees into the 1990s, and remnants of its past can still be seen today.
This is the perfect destination for guests wanting the creature comforts of a home while in a rustic, natural setting. This cabin is can be reserved from mid-May
through mid-October, and it accommodates up to eight people. This cabin is not available the first Tuesday of each month for water testing, cleaning and maintenance.
Wildlife watching and wildflower viewing are the primary recreational activities in this area. Nearby activities include mountain biking, road biking, hiking, fishing
and hunting. There is a horseshoe pit outside the cabin.
The multi-room cabin is comfortably equipped with two bathrooms, one featuring a tub with a shower, and both with flush toilets. The kitchen has a propane cook stove and a solar powered refrigerator, and is stocked with basic utensils and cleaning supplies. There are three bedrooms, complete with beds, and a living room. The heat and hot water are propane operated. The cabin has solar lights. Drinking water is available in the building. There is a picnic table and fire ring for outdoor dining and campfires.
This is a pack-it-in/pack-it-out facility, so visitors are asked to bring garbage bags. Visitors should also bring bedding, towels, washcloths, detergent, flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries and a first aid kit. The nearest town to buy supplies is 45 minutes
Several bands of wild free-roaming horses live in the Ochoco National Forest. Visitors can learn more about these horses from a Forest Service interpretive sign on Forest Service Road 42 on the way to the cabin. Other wildlife in the area includes squirrels, chipmunks, antelope, deer, elk, geese, hawks, osprey, eagles, sandhill cranes and great horned owls.
Cold Spring Guard Station is located in an upland meadow near Big Summit Prairie, an area known for colorful wildflower displays that include wild parsley, bitterroot, cobalt blue meadow larkspur, Peck’s mariposa lily and brilliant red Indian paintbrush. There are other plants that add beauty to this serene location, the most prominent being sagebrush and old-growth ponderosa pine. Quaking aspen mixes with the pines in the area surrounding the cabin.
Walton Lake, Lookout Mt. trails, Big Summit Prairie
Charges & Cancellations
In order to allow for maximum use of the facilities, a cancellation policy has been put in place to encourage customers to make any cancellations as soon as possible so that others may reserve and enjoy the unoccupied facility. Reservation fees are refundable on a pro-rated scale as outlined below.
> 100% refund of reservation fees when cancelled 31 days or more, prior to your arrival date*
> 50% refund of reservation fees when cancelled 15 to 30 days, prior to your arrival date*
> No refund when cancelled 14 days or less, prior to your arrival date
> If a customer arrives at a facility and decides to leave early, the days not used are not refunded
* A $10.00 cancellation fee will be deducted from the amount of the refund given the customer
From Prineville, Oregon:
Travel approximately 13 miles east on Highway 26.
Turn right at the junction to Ochoco Ranger Station (County Road 123), and travel 8 miles to the junction of Forest Service Roads 22 and 42.
Stay right to merge onto Forest Service Road 42 and then travel approximately 19 more miles.
Just after crossing the North Fork of the Crooked River turn left onto Forest Service Road 30 and travel approximately 1.5 miles.
Turn right onto Forest Service Road 100 at the signs to Cold Springs Guard Station.
Turn right again just as the road forks and proceed through the gate.
The route is easily accessible by car, with paved roads most of the way. The last 2 miles to the cabin are on a good dirt road.
There is ample parking space for up to eight cars.