Trout Creek Guard Station is located in the Trout Creek area, approximately 21 miles west of U.S. Highway 191 near Vernal, in eastern Utah. It is part of the beautiful Ashley National Forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the complex in 1934 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal instituted during the Great Depression. It was a residence for rangers who patrolled the forest on horseback prior to the age of modern vehicles.
The Ashley National Forest Vernal Ranger District has chosen to rent this guard station to the public so guests can enjoy a primitive experience similar to that of the first rangers. The cabin is open for reservations all months of the year except November, April and May.
In summer months, numerous hiking, biking and off-road trails crisscross the area. In winter months, endless snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities are right out the door.
The cabin can sleep two to four people on one twin-sized bunk bed. No linens, bedding or pillows are provided.
The kitchen contains basic amenities including a sink, propane stove, refrigerator, table and four chairs. DUE TO COVID-19, THE FOREST SERVICE WILL NOT BE PROVIDING COOKWARE OR SILVERWARE. GUESTS MUST BRING THEIR OWN AND ARE ASKED TO PLEASE NOT LEAVE ANY OF THESE ITEMS AFTER THEIR STAY FOR PUBLIC HEALTH REASONS.
The cabin remains locked; call the Vernal Ranger District office, at (435) 789-1181, three business days prior to arrival, to confirm the combination lock code. COMBINATION CODE REQUIRED to enter cabin. (Some combination locks used have off-set entry lines. If code is not working, try off-setting entry line).
The cabin has a wood stove inside for heat, and a campfire ring with a grill outside. A vault toilet is provided outside the cabin. Solar lights are provided, however, due to varying weather conditions, they are not reliable. Please be prepared with battery powered lanterns or flashlights.
From approximately mid-September to mid-June (winter), most amenities are shut off, including the refrigerator. The operable amenities during this time are an outdoor vault toilet, propane stove for cooking and a wood-burning stove for heat.
Click here to view a video of the details about Trout Creek Guard Station.
The charming red cabin sits at the edge of a meadow, just above Trout Creek. A scenic forest of pines and aspens surrounds the expansive meadow. Wildlife and summer wildflowers are abundant.
Numerous scenic driving routes on maintained dirt roads crisscross the area, providing miles of trails for off-road enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers. Trails lead to Oaks Park, East Park and Long Park Reservoirs, as well as smaller lakes, overlooks, forests, meadows and historic sites.
The Ashley-Karst National Geologic Recreation Area offers dramatic canyons, densely forested backcountry areas, and vast networks of caves.
Follow the mileage indications below and look for signs on the ground when traveling to Trout Creek Guard Station. Leave with plenty of time to arrive at the guard station before dark.
From Vernal, travel north on U.S. Highway 191/Vernal Avenue for approximately 20 miles. Turn left (west) on Forest Road 020/018; a paved parking lot with a restroom is located at this intersection. Follow paved Forest Road 020 northwest approximately 9 miles. The pavement ends and the road turns to gravel after the East Park Campground junction. Continue on gravel Forest Road 020 (locally called White Cloud Loop after pavement ends) approximately 10 miles. Trout Creek Park will be in the foreground and Trout Creek Guard Station will be visible to the northwest. Turn right (north) to Trout Creek Guard Station (red building). If you reach the intersection with Forest Road 018 (Red Cloud Loop), you have gone too far.N