Jack Creek Guard Station
Medicine Bow-Routt Nfs & Thunder Basin Ng
The Jack Creek Guard Station is located southwest of Saratoga, Wyoming, offering visitors a unique lodging experience in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.
The guard station once served as the northern ranger cabin for the historic Encampment Ranger District. It was constructed by Ranger Evie Williams in 1934. Oral history states that Ranger Williams spent most of his construction dollars on the material for the foundation and chimney, and used his own funds to finish the windows and roof.
The guard station is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers guests recreation and relaxation in a delightful natural setting. The cabin is typically open from mid-June through mid-October and is accessible by vehicle. Basic amenities are provided, but guests will need to pack in some of their own supplies and gear.
The one-room cabin is furnished with two sets of bunk beds and can accommodate up to four people. Heat is provided by a combination wood and propane cook stove. Basic cooking and eating utensils and propane lights are supplied.
Water is available during the summer months from a hydrant just outside or a hand pump at Jack Creek Campground, one mile away. There is no indoor plumbing, but a vault toilet is located nearby. A picnic table and campfire ring are also outside the cabin. Please use propane side of stove for cooking and heat. There is no trash service; this is a pack-it-in, pack-it-out facility.
Need to Know
- Cell phone coverage in the area is unreliable
- Please call the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District office at (307) 326-5258 prior to your stay to confirm combination and key access for the guard station (office is not open evenings, weekends or holidays)
- Please contact the Ranger District 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
- Instructions for lighting the propane stove and lights are inside the cabin; guests need to open the propane tank valve to use and close it upon departure
- No pets are allowed within the cabin; pets must be cleaned up after outside.
- No saddle or pack animals are allowed at this facility.
- Additional campers, trailers or tents cannot be set up at this facility.
- Guests need to provide their own food, sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights, towels, dish soap, matches, first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags.
- All trash and food must be packed out.
- Guests are expected to clean the cabin before leaving.
- Learn more about Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
- Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing organisms by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.
From open, high expanses to valleys and canyons that rise steeply to snowy ranges, the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests encompass mountain ranges, tributaries to the North Platte River and the Colorado River, and a mix of forested ecology with spruce, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, aspen and shrub lands.
The Jack Creek Guard Station sits in a clearing with lodgepole pine, aspen and mixed conifer forest at an elevation of 8,500 feet. Wildlife viewing is abundant in the area, including elk, deer, bear and moose.
Opportunities exist in the area for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is approximately five miles west of the cabin. Anglers can fish in nearby Jack Creek and game hunting opportunities are available in designated areas with proper licenses.
P.O. BOX 249 2171 S. HIGHWAY 130 SARATOGA WY 82331
Learn more about gear rental options for your trip
From Saratoga, travel west on County Road 500 approximately 16 miles to junction with County Road 405. Stay left and travel 3 miles to the forest boundary. The road changes to Forest Service Road 452. Travel on Forest Service Road 452 for 6.5 miles to Jack Creek Campground and the guard station.
From Encampment, take State Highway 70 west for 7 miles and turn onto Forest Service Road 443 for approximately 15 miles to the junction of Forest Service Road 452. From there, go west for approximately 8 miles to Jack Creek Campground and the guard station.