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Murderers Creek Guard Station, OR

part ofMalheur National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Fri Jun 05 2015   Season Dates


Murderer's Creek Guard Station is in the heart of the Malheur National Forest, in central Oregon. It makes an excellent base camp for back country recreating, and is a cozy retreat for a couple and a fun opportunity to imagine the life of the early day forest rangers. The historic guard station is one of the oldest standing buildings in the forest.

The cabin contains some modern amenities and 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 guard station is located approximately 32 miles from the town of John Day. It sits at an elevation of about 5,000 feet. The facility was built in 1913 and was originally used as a fireguard station. It was in use by Forest Service officials until the late 1990s.

Murderer's Creek, a small creek that runs east and west along the southern base of Aldrich Mountain, is nearby the cabin. The guard station is surrounded by open meadows and timbered areas of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer. Abundant wildflowers dot the Cedar Grove Botanical Area, a 26-acre cedar grove on the northeast slope of Aldrich Mountain.

The area is known for its wild horses, which coexist with mule deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, bear, cougar, and myriad smaller forest animals.


Viewing wildlife and birds is popular in the area, as is hunting not far from the facility.

Guests can hike area trails, explore the Cedar Botanical Area and fish Murderer's Creek and South Fork John Day, though area creeks run dry toward summer's end.


The one-room cabin is equipped with one futon that sleeps two people. It has a table and chairs, a propane cook stove, propane refrigerator and propane heater inside the cabin. Basic cooking pots, utensils and tableware are also provided.

There is a garage building and room to park and RV in the adjacent driveway. A newer style vault toilet is located outside.

Guests will need to bring water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes, as well as bedding, flashlights or a lantern for emergencies, a first aid kit, towels, garbage bags and dish soap, among other necessities. Guests will need to clean the cabin and carry out all trash before leaving.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Futon(s)
  • Historic Sites
  • Parking Area
  • Propane Heat
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Stove
  • Propane refrigerator
  • Table & Chairs
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wild Horse Viewing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
Know Before You Go
  • There is no water at the guard station; guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning
  • Bears may frequent the area; use appropriate containers for food and garbage (learn more about bear safety)
  • The cabin remains locked; a combination code will be contained in the reservation confirmation letter
  • Guests should contact the Ranger Station before arrival to confirm that road closures or weather conditions won't affect 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):
44.26056, -119.27583
44°15'38"N, 119°16'33"W

From John Day, travel south on Highway 395 approximately 17 miles to County Road 63. Take County Road 63 to the junction of Forest Service Road 21. Take a right onto Forest Service Roard 21 and travel approximately 11.5 miles to the guard station.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Murderers Creek Guard Station
Prairie City Ranger District: 327 SW Front Street, P.O. Box 337
Prairie City  OR  97869

Phone Number:

Information:  (541)820-3800
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