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part ofCuster Gallatin National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Sun May 31 2015   Season Dates


Ibex Cabin was constructed in 1939 as a shelter for Forest Service rangers working within the Shields Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest of south-central Montana. It is available for summer and winter recreational use, and provides a peaceful, remote mountain retreat.

Guests can drive to the cabin from June through October, although high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended. The access road to the cabin may get muddy in the rain, so guests may want to call ahead for road conditions. In the winter, the cabin is only accessible by a 5.5-mile ski, snowshoe or snowmobile trip. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety.

This cabin offers very rustic accommodations with limited amenities, so guests should be prepared to bring most of their own supplies and gear to make their stay an enjoyable experience.

Natural Features:

The rustic cabin is nestled at the edge of a meadow in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains, at an elevation of 6,600 feet. A forest of Lodgepole pine grows behind the cabin, and views from the front reveal the 7,354-foot peak of Ibex Mountain.

The surrounding meadow bursts with color from wildflowers in the summer. Mule deer, porcupine and elk may be spotted around the cabin. Several bird species that inhabit this area include bald eagles, owls, jays, western meadowlarks and mountain bluebirds.


There are a number of trails in the area for hikers, equestrians and snowmobilers. The Ibex Trail and Cottonwood Lake Trail are the closest to the cabin. The trailhead for Cottonwood Lake can be accessed three miles up the road from the cabin. Trails in the area may sometimes cross private property, so guests should obtain permission before using them.

Winter recreation includes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Big game hunting is also a popular activity in this area.


The cabin has bunk beds with mattresses to accommodate up to four people. Other amenities include a wood stove for heat, a propane lantern, table, chairs, axe, splitting maul, bucket, broom, mop and shovel.

An outhouse with vault toilet is located outside. A limited amount of firewood is provided, although it's not available during July and August. A campfire ring is located outside, but guests should collect or bring their own firewood for outside fires.

Electricity and water are not available. Guests must bring their own water supply, as well as cooking gear, propane canisters for the lantern, bedding, matches, newspaper, first aid kit, dishes and utensils, toilet paper and other necessities. The cabin will need to be cleaned and all trash carried out, prior to leaving.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Axe
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Bunkbed(s) With Mattresses
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cleaning Equipment
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Firewood
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Propane Lantern (Fuel not provided)
  • Snow shovel
  • Snowmobile Trails
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Hunting
Know Before You Go
  • 5 night maximum stay limit
  • The cabin remains locked; within a week of arrival, CALL the Livingston office of the Yellowstone Ranger District at (406) 222-1892 during office hours (Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.) for the combination lock code
  • Maximum group size for using facility and adjacent area is 15 people
  • Water is not available in the cabin; water obtained from nearby natural water sources should be treated prior to use to prevent Giardia
  • A high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended to access the cabin
  • Cell phone coverage is either limited or not available in this area
  • Guests must carefully follow the food storage order for Gallatin National Forest (Click here for more information)
  • No garbage service; please bring garbage bags and pack out all trash and personal belongings
  • No liquid fueled (white gas) stoves or lanterns allowed in the cabin or on the porch
  • No facilities for horses; please do not pasture them within fence
  • Horses can be used on nearby trails; when tying horses to trailers, please clean areas before leaving
  • Hay and feed brought to the site for stock must be certified weed-free
  • Out of state horses must have current Coggins test
  • Please collect your own firewood for campfires
  • The primary occupant is responsible to ensure all members of their party abide by USFS regulations
  • Firing a gun or use of any other weapon is not allowed with 150 yards of the cabin
  • Guests should be aware that there is a risk of exposure to Hantavirus when visiting remote cabins; click here for more information
  • Click here for more information about Gallatin National Forest
    • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
46.00306, -110.44139
46°0'11"N, 110°26'29"W

From Livingston, travel north on U.S. Highway 89 just past Clyde Park. Turn right onto Cottonwood Bench Road and continue 3 miles. Turn right onto Cottonwood Road and proceed for about 7 miles, to the intersection of Upper Cottonwood Creek Road and Lower Cottonwood Road. Turn left on Upper Cottonwood Creek Road. Take the next right, continuing on Upper Cottonwood Creek Road. Continue approximately 4.5 miles to an intersection and bear left onto Ibex Road, following the signs for the next 2.5 miles to the cabin. (High clearance four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended due to the rough road conditions).

In the winter, park at the winter parking area at the intersection of Briggs Lane and Upper Cottonwood Creek Road, which is approximately 9 miles from U.S. Highway 89. Ski, snowshoe or snowmobile the remaining 5.5 miles to the cabin.

The Cottonwood area can be extremely windblown during the winter months. Roads drift in with snow quickly during high winds and may not be plowed for 24 to 48 hours. It is recommended that winter guests carry topographic maps and compasses for navigation since the route may be windblown and difficult to find. The signs might be down due to weather conditions or vandalism.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Project Office: (406)222-1892
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