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part ofRio Grande National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Thu Oct 15 2015   Season Dates


Alder Guard Station is located 2 miles north of the town of South Fork along Alder Creek in the Rio Grande National Forest. The guard station was constructed in 1910 and was the residence and office for the local ranger district. Today the historic cabin is a comfortable getaway for guests seeking relaxation and recreation in south central Colorado.

Natural Features:

The Rio Grande National Forest encompasses of a myriad of ecosystems ranging from high elevation desert to the craggy peaks of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The Alder Guard Station, located in the Divide Ranger District, is surrounded by mixed conifer forests, aspen groves, and wilderness areas, though its immediate vicinity is manicured, with a fenced lawn.


The Alder Bench trailhead is located north of the guard station on Forest Road 610. In the past, this trail was used by stockmen taking livestock up to the high country towards Blue Park and Long Park.

In the fall, visitors use this trail to hunt elk and deer as this area is considered winter range for both. The 6.5 mile trail is also open for off-road single track riding, horse and foot travel, and mountain biking, but can be very rocky and steep in places.

Anglers will enjoy the scenic backdrop of Alder Creek when casting lines for a variety of trout.


The two story cabin is furnished with two bunkbeds and one single bed in the upstairs bedroom, and a couch on the first floor. The kitchen is equipped with a table and chairs, electric stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils and some pots and pans.

The bathroom has hot water and a flush toilet. A wood stove is the only source of heat for the guard station. Picnic tables and firewood are also on site.

Although the cabin has several amenities, guests do need to provide their own sleeping bags, linens, towels, dish soap, matches, cooking gear, first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags.

Lighting is available, however guests are advised to bring an additional light source in case of emergency.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Bunkbed(s) With Mattresses
  • Campfire Ring
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Couches
  • Drinking Water (Peak Season)
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Lights
  • Off Road Vehicle Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Refrigerator
  • River Access
  • Showers (Seasonal)
  • Stove
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Know Before You Go
  • Entry to the cabin is by combination lock. Please call the Divide Ranger District at (719) 657-3321 one week prior to reservation to obtain the combination to the back door. Office hours are 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday- Friday.
  • Pets are only allowed outside the guard station; please clean up after your pet
  • Do not leave food or trash outside the guard station; bears have been spotted in the area
  • All garbage and food must be packed out; do not burn garbage in the fire pit or wood stove
  • Do not place tents or vehicles on the lawn
  • The guard station is a no-smoking facility
  • Please clean guard station upon departure
  • Make sure guard station is locked upon departure
  • Horses are restricted to the corral area near the barn; only weed free hay/feed for the horses - no grazing allowed; if you bring horses, please contact the District office at (719) 657-3321
  • Forest Service employees use the horse pasture adjacent to the guard station for official duties
  • Learn more about theRio Grande National Forest.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing organisms by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
37.70444, -106.64667
37°42'16"N, 106°38'48"W

From South Fork, Colorado: Travel approximately .5 miles on Highway 149 towards Creede. After crossing the Rio Grande River bridge, turn east (right) on County Road 15 (North River Road) and go approximately 1 mile to Forest Road 610. Turn north (left) on Forest Road 610 and go 2 miles. Alder Guard Station is on the left less than 50 yards from Forest Road 610.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Forest Road 610
South Fork  CO  81154

Phone Number:

Project Office: (719)657-3321
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