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Attention: SHORT CREEK GUARD STATION will be closed from May 22nd to June 4th, 2015. The Opening date will be June 5th, 2015.


part ofMalheur National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sat Oct 31 2015   Season Dates


Short Creek Guard Station is a great place to stay to enjoy the nearby Monument Rock and Strawberry Mountain wilderness areas, as well as the North Fork of the Malheur Scenic River. The cabin offers access to a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, hunting, fishing and viewing wildlife.

The cabin provides all the comforts of a home, including drinking water during the summer months. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The cabin is situated in a corner of a small meadow surrounded by tall ponderosa pines, at an elevation of about 5,000 feet. It is about 38 miles from the town of John Day, in north-central Oregon.

A babbling creek runs alongside the cabin and a variety of wildlife make its home in the area, including elk, deer, antelope, black bears, bighorn sheep, grouse, as well as many species of birds. Nearby, the Monument Rock and Strawberry Mountain wilderness areas, as well as the North Fork of the Malheur Scenic River, offer vast opportunities for exploration.

The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness has an extremely diverse ecological makeup, with five of the seven major life zones in North America and around 378 kinds of animals and approximately 22 fish species.


In the warmers months, popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and wildlife viewing around the cabin and in the nearby wilderness areas and the North Fork of the Malheur Scenic River.

There are moderate hiking trails near the cabin, and rugged hiking trails in the wilderness. The wilderness provides over a hundred miles of trails. The riparian habitat of the river lends itself to picnicking, fishing and observing all kinds of wildlife. The wilderness has many wildlife viewing opportunities as well.


The kitchen is equipped with a propane cook stove, sink, propane refrigerator, propane lights and a propane heater that heats the entire facility. The small indoor bathroom provides a flush toilet and a shower during summer months only. Additionally, the building is equipped with a propane hot water heater, which provides hot water to the shower and sinks during the summer months only.

A picnic table, two BBQ grills and a fire pit are located next to the building, under the shade of nearby trees.

Guests will need to bring their own bedding (blankets, linens, pillows and/or sleeping bags), as well as flashlights or a lantern for emergencies, a first aid kit, towels, garbage bags and dish soap, among other necessities. The cabin will need to be cleaned and all garbage carried out prior to leaving.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Creek Access
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Drinking Water (Peak Season)
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hot Water
  • Mattress(es)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnic Area
  • Propane Heat
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Refrigerator
  • Propane Stove
  • Showers (Seasonal)
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Hunting
  • River Access
Know Before You Go
Attention visitors: Short Creek Guard Station opened in 2011 for the first time to renters. In the past, hunters and hikers were allowed to fill up their water from the outside water faucet. Signs have been posted at the rental stating that water is no longer available to the public. However, you may still encounter a few long-time local people or long-time hunters who will stop and ask to use the water. You do have the right to say no to their requests. We are working to remedy this issue. The Malheur National Forest Recreation Department is working hard to ensure your safety and enjoyment while staying at all of our rentals.
  • There is a locked gate at Short Creek Guard Station which is secured with a combination lock. The combination is provided in the customer confirmation email.
  • Drinking water and the flush toilet are available only during warmer months; water will be shut off from early October until late May (specific dates depend on area temperatures to prevent freezing the lines)
  • Bears may frequent the area; use appropriate containers for food and garbage (learn more about bear safety)
  • Guests may encounter cattle near the facility
  • Water taken from any outdoor source should be boiled or treated prior to consumption
  • 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):
44.27139, -118.40139
44°16'17"N, 118°24'5"W

From the town of Prairie City turn onto Bridge Street. Continue on Bridge Street up and over a little hill and stay on this road past the cemetery. The road then changes to County Road 62; continue on County Road 62 approximately 19 miles to the junction with Forest Road 16. Turn left onto Forest Road 16, follow Forest Road 16 for approximately 14 miles to the junction with Forest Road 13; turn onto Forest Road 13. The guard station will be less than an 1/8th of a mile and will be on the left.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

DISTRICT OFFICE: 327 SW Front St., P.O. Box 337
Prairie City  OR  97869

Phone Number:

Information:  (541)820-3800
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