Find Sites

Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on Forest
Safety click here



part ofMalheur National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sun Nov 15 2015   Season Dates


Deer Creek Guard Station is located approximately 31 miles from the town of John Day, in central Oregon. It is in a beautiful, quiet location, off the beaten path. From sunup to sundown, the cabin affords opportunities for adventure in exploring, viewing wildlife, or just relaxing and enjoying the wonders of nature all around.

The cabin is larger than some, is furnished and offers many comforts. It can be accessed by vehicle. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The three-room cabin was built in 1956 and was originally used as a work station by fireguards. Before satellite surveillance systems, fireguards were the the smoke chasers who rushed to sites of reported smoke and tried to extinguish the flames.

Douglas fir and ponderosa pine trees dot the broad, flat expanse surrounding the cabin, which sits at an elevation of 5,100 feet. Deer Creek runs through the area nearby. In the spring and summer, guests enjoy abundant wildflowers and wildlife in the area, including wild horses, elk, black bears, deer and wild turkeys and other species of birds.


Big game hunting is popular in the area, as well as fishing on Deer Creek and South Fork John Day. Anglers might watch for coho, winter steelhead, spring chinook, fall chinook and cutthroat trout, among others in the area.

Guests can also enjoy hiking and horseback riding on a variety of trails surrounding the cabin.


The rustic cabin has a living room/sleeping area, a small bedroom and a kitchen. The living/sleeping area is equipped with a propane fireplace for heat, a couch, chair and end tables. A Murphy bed is located in the living/sleeping area for additional sleeping space and can be put away during the day.

In the dining area is a full futon bed and table with four chairs. In a small room just off the dining area is a log bunk bed that can sleep two comfortably. The cabin can accommodate up to six people. The kitchen is equipped with a propane cook stove and propane refrigerator, ample counter space, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups and flatware. The entire cabin is lit with propane lights.

An accessible vault toilet is located near the guard station. A picnic table and campfire ring are situated next to the perennial creek that runs through the facility grounds. Any water taken from an outdoor source should be boiled or treated prior to consumption. Stream water gets scarce during mid-August. Firewood can be collected from the surrounding area.

Guests should bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes, as well as bedding (linens, blankets, pillows and/or sleeping bags), flashlights or a lantern for emergencies, a first aid kit, towels, garbage bags and dish soap. Guests will need to clean the facility and carry out all trash prior to leaving.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Sites
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Futon(s)
  • Mattress(es)
  • Picnic Area
  • Propane Fireplace
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Refrigerator
  • Propane Stove
  • Table & Chairs
  • Wild Horse Viewing
Less Than 100 Feet
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Creek Access
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Trailheads
Within 10 Miles
  • Hunting
Know Before You Go
  • Water is not available at the cabin; guests should be prepared to treat or boil water taken from an outdoor source
  • This is bear country; food and garbage should be stored properly (learn more about bear and other safety precautions)
  • The cabin remains locked; guests must use a combination lock code contained in the reservation confirmation letter
  • Weather conditions and snow may delay opening of the access road to the cabin beyond the scheduled date, as well as force early closures; contact the Prairie City Ranger District prior to arrival to inquire about current restrictions or conditions, such as fire or road closures, weather, storms or anything that may affect the quality of a visit
  • Learn more about the The Malheaur National Forest

  • Don't Move Firewood: Please protect Pacific Northwest forests by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.18722, -119.32278
44°11'14"N, 119°19'22"W

From the town of John Day Oregon travel south on Highway 395 to the junction with County Road 63. Take County Road 63 to the junction with Forest Road 24, follow Forest Road 24 to Forest Road 514 to the guard station.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Prairie City  OR  97869

Phone Number:

Information:  (541)820-3800
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration