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part ofBeaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Tue Jun 30 2015   Season Dates


May Creek Cabin is located on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in western Montana. It was built by miners in the early 1900s and used by them for about 30 years. Hunters occupied it for about 30 years after that. The cabin went unused for nearly 30 years and was restored for public use in 1993. In 2011, more work was completed to enhance the quality and safety of the structure.

Summer and fall months give visitors plenty of daylight and moderate temperatures to explore the surrounding meadows, peaks and valleys, as well as fish in plentiful mountain streams.

The cabin can be accessed by driving to May Creek Campground and then hiking or skiing just over two miles, depending on conditions. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The rustic cabin is situated at the base of the Anaconda Mountain Range in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest of southwestern Montana. It is nestled in evergreen forest near the banks of May Creek at an elevation of about 6,600 feet.

The Anacondas are home to abundant wildlife, including mountain lions, elk, deer, moose and bears (learn more about bear safety). This area is a major spot for elk calving.


Early explorers crossed through the area, leaving a variety of trails for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, including the Nez Perce Trail, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the Continental Divide National Historic Trail. Historic sites are located along all routes. A GPS unit, compass and area maps are helpful in reaching the cabin and exploring the area.

The surrounding hills and valleys are popular for hiking and backpacking in the summer and fall, and for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, although extreme caution is urged to avoid avalanche danger.

Fishing and wading are available in the adjacent May Creek. Anglers might catch brook or rainbow trout, which are plentiful in the alpine waters.


The wood-frame, one-room cabin is equipped with bunk beds and foam mattresses that sleep up to four people, a wood-burning stove for heat and a propane stove for cooking. The flat-topped wood stove can also be used for cooking. A table with benches, cooking and eating utensils, axe, shovel, bucket, cleaning gear and firewood (during the winter months) are also provided.

A wood stove is available for heat, and firewood and an axe are provided from September 16-June 15. You will need to provide your own firewood from June 16-September 15. An outhouse with a vault toilet is near the cabin. A propane lantern should also be available, but fuel is not supplied.

The cabin has no electricity or running water. It is recommended that guests bring their own water supply for drinking, cooking and washing. Water is also available from a nearby creek, but it must be treated or boiled prior to use.

Guests should bring their own bedding, food, toilet paper, towels, flashlights, garbage bags and 16-ounce propane canisters for the stove and lantern. All garbage and food must be packed out and guests should clean the cabin prior to leaving.

Nearby Attractions:

The Big Hole National Battlefield is located about nine miles east of the cabin. It is the site of the Nez Perce War of 1877, a battle between the Native American tribe, the United States Army and civilian volunteers.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Axe
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Bucket & Shovel
  • Bunkbed(s)
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Creek Access
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Mattress Pad(s)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Propane Lantern (Fuel not provided)
  • Propane Stove
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Within 10 Miles
  • Campfire Circles
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Drinking Water (Hand Pump)
  • Historic Sites
  • Host
  • Parking Area
  • Visitor Center
Know Before You Go
  • Guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning
  • Propane fuel is not provided
  • Firewood is only provided from September 16-June 15. Firewood is not provided June 16-September 15.
  • This facility is located in a remote area; before making a reservation, become aware of bear, water and weather safety, including avalanche danger
  • The cabin remains locked; contact the Wisdom Ranger District during office hours to obtain a key code
  • There is no cell phone service at or around the cabin
  • All garbage and food must be packed out
  • Guests should be aware that there is a risk of exposure to hantavirus when visiting remote cabins; click here to learn more
  • Learn more about the Beaverhead-Deerlodge 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):
45.6425, -113.82222
45°38'33"N, 113°49'20"W

From Wisdom, travel west on Highway 43 for about 16 miles to the May Creek Campground. Guests can park in the plowed parking area near the highway at the entrance to the campground during the winter. During the summer months, follow the campground road to the fence at the south end of the campground. Parking is available in the meadow just west of the campground.

From the campground, hike, ski south along the marked May Creek Trail, crossing a small bridge. About a quarter-mile past the bridge, the May Creek Trail intersects with the May Creek Ridge Trail; stay on the May Creek Trail and continue south for about two miles. The cabin is located on the edge of a large meadow, in the trees, on the east side of the creek. Large, blue diamond stakes mark the trail across the meadow to the cabin. Maps of the area may be purchased by calling the Wisdom Ranger District.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 238
WISDOM  MT  59761

Phone Number:

Information:  (406)689-3243
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