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PETERSON PRAIRIE GUARD STATION, WA

part ofGifford Pinchot National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: PETERSON PRAIRIE GUARD STATION
Status: Open through Wed Dec 31 2014   Season Dates
 

Overview

Unfortunately, due to a fire the cabin is no longer available for reservations. On September 19, 2012, the historic Peterson Prairie Cabin burned to the ground. The cabin was constructed in 1926 and was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The Mt. Adams Ranger District, in partnership with the Mt. Adams Institute, are proposing to garner outside funds (fundraise) to move an existing historic building to replace the burned cabin. To donate, go to http://www.mtadamsinstitute.com click on support, then land on Peterson Prairie Cabin.

There is no motor vehicle access from the road that leads to the cabin when snow is present on the road. Parking at the snow park is required, and requires a snow park pass. This pass can be purchased at local vendors.

Natural Features:

A dense canopy of Douglas fir towers over the cabin and huckleberry bushes are thick in the understory.

Nearby Mt. Adams Wilderness is dominated by its namesake peak. At an elevation of 12,276 feet, Mount Adams looms over at least ten glaciers, forested slopes and subalpine meadows.

Wildlife in the area is abundant, including spotted owls, black tail deer, Roosevelt elk and black bear. The more elusive cougar, bobcat and pine marten are seen occasionally.

Recreation:

Many recreational opportunities are within close proximity of the guard station. Hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and mushroom and huckleberry picking are popular during the snow-free months. Guests can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during winter.

The Pacific Crest Trail, Indian Heaven Wilderness and Mt. Adams Wilderness are all within easy driving distance and boast scenic vistas.

Atkisson Sno-Park is approximately 2.5 miles from the guard station and serves as a portal to the forest's network of 95 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Three signed, ungroomed cross-country ski loops also depart from the Atkisson Sno-Park, offering loop opportunities of 4 to 11 miles. Portions of these loops overlap with each other and the snowmobile trail network.

Facilities:

Peterson Prairie Guard Station accommodates up to six guests. The 18'x24' rustic cabin has a bedroom with a double bed, a small kitchen area and living room with two futon couches and a fireplace/wood stove insert. Propane lighting and heating are provided throughout. The kitchen is equipped with a two-burner propane cook top, pots and pans, dishes and utensils, as well as a dining table and four chairs. An outdoor picnic table and vault toilet are on-site. Firewood is provided.

There is no potable water at the cabin, but can be obtained at nearby Peterson Prairie Campground from Memorial Day through Labor Day only. No water is available during the winter months; guests must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing.

Although the cabin has several amenities, guests do need to provide their own sleeping bags, linens, towels, dish soap, matches, first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags. Bringing an additional light source in case of emergencies is also advised.

Nearby Attractions:

Guler Ice Cave is one mile west of the guard station. It is filled with spectacular ice formations that resemble stalactites, stalagmites, columns, fans and boxwork. The ice is believed to form because the cave acts as a trap, retaining the heavy cold air that settles into the cave in winter. As the snow melts above, moisture dripping into the cave forms into ice columns and masses. The cave is about 650 feet long, with four sections separated by three ceiling collapses.

The Forest Service has built a stairway down to the cave, but the steps can be slippery during winter. When exploring the cave, wear warm clothing, boots and a helmet. Use crampons if you have them. Have three sources of light.

Winter access requires cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobile. Many of the ice formations are just inside the cave entrance, so it's not necessary to explore deep inside.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bed(s) With Mattress
  • Berry Picking
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Futon(s)
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Paved Roads
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Stove
  • Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table and Chairs
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilet
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Cafe
  • Campfire Circles
  • Drinking Water (Hand Pump)
  • Fishing
  • General Store
  • Grocery
  • Group Camping
  • Historic Sites
  • Host
  • Information Station
  • Lake Access
  • Pay Telephone
  • Post Office
  • RV sites
  • Ranger Station
  • Restaurants
  • Trailheads
Know Before You Go
  • No potable water at this site
  • Entry to the cabin is by a combination lock; the combination is given in your confirmation letter
  • In the event of a heavy snowfall, guests may not be able to access the Sno-Park or could get stranded; the Forest Service does not plow the road to the Sno-Park; those with existing reservations are advised to check weather conditions close to their reservation date and plan accordingly; refund requests will be honored if the Sno-Park is inaccessible or guests need to depart ahead of schedule due to snow in the forecast
  • During the winter months, the weather can change abruptly; guests should come prepared with extra provisions for an extended stay in case the weather delays their departure; two feet of snow falling overnight is not uncommon
  • Please contact the Ranger District at (509) 395-3400 prior to arriving at the cabin to check on any restrictions or conditions, such as fire or road closures, weather or storms that may affect the quality of your visit
  • Pets are not allowed at this facility
  • Camping is prohibited at the guard station
  • Pack out all food and garbage and clean the facility before you leave
  • Doors and windows should be locked and all personal items removed upon departure
  • The guard station is a non-smoking facility
  • Learn more about Gifford-Pinchot 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):
46.00028, -121.54639
46°0'1"N, 121°32'47"W

Peterson Prairie Guard Station is located 7 miles from Trout Lake, Washington, along Forest Road 24. During the snow-free months (typically June-October), guest can drive directly to the cabin. The road to the cabin is closed to wheeled vehicles December through April. Cabin renters park their vehicles at the Atkisson Sno-Park and ski, snowshoe or snowmobile an 2.5 miles to the Guard Station. A Sno-Park permit is required December 1 through April 1 for each parked vehicle.

Guests may call the Mt. Adams Ranger District at (509) 395- 3400 to obtain current conditions close to their reservation date. Refunds will not be given due to limited access caused by snow.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PETERSON PRAIRIE GUARD STATION
2455 HWY 141
TROUT LAKE  WA  98650

Phone Number:

Information:  (509)395-3400
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