Magruder Rangers House is one of seven buildings still used by Forest Service trail crews and wilderness rangers, but it is open to the public through parts of the year. It provides visitors with access to two designated wilderness areas, plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and exploration and a comfortably equipped place to stay.
The Magruder Ranger House is a historical cabin and along with six other buildings which were at one time part of the Deep Creek Ranger Station and later the Magruder Ranger Station.
The two-story, five-room log cabin has two bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen and an indoor bathroom. It has beds with mattresses, as well as futons, to sleep up to 10 people. A wood stove for heat is available in the basement of the cabin and firewood is provided.
The kitchen is equipped with a table and chairs, propane refrigerator, stove and propane lights. Cooking and eating utensils are available, as well as various cleaning equipment. During the summer, hot and cold running water is available for the kitchen and bathroom, which has a flush toilet and a shower. The water system is turned off for fall and winter. Water is turned on from June through September 30. An outdoor vault toilet is provided.
Guests will need to bring their own bedding, towels, food, matches, garbage bags and toilet paper, among other necessities. It is required that guests replenish the cut kindling supply and clean the cabin prior to leaving.
The cabin is accessible by four-wheel drive and high-clearance vehicles. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety. Please be aware the access is through a forested area where trees may fall across roads and trails anytime and there is no cell phone coverage.
Livestock are not permitted at the Magruder Cabin compound.
This rental facility will undergo construction during the 2024 rental season and will be unavailable during this time. Reservations will be made available as soon as the construction is complete.
Please continue to monitor this webpage on Recreation.gov for status updates or contact the West Fork Ranger District at 406-821-3269 for further details.
The cabin is winterized annually on October 1; water is shut off at that point; visitors will need to bring their own drinking water and water for dishes and cleaning and utilize the pit toliet outside.
This facility is located in a remote area; before making a reservation, become aware of bear, water and weather safety. The rustic cabin is located in the forest where rodents may occcasionally access the building.
The cabin remains locked; a week before your scheduled arrival, contact the West Fork Ranger District at 406-821-3269 during office hours (Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) to obtain a key code. Lock is a combination lock, to release the lock enter the code, squeeze in the lock and release.
All garbage and food must be packed out.
The rental cabin is one building on the historic Magruder Ranger Station compound. The access road, trails and Ranger Station areas are all open to the public while cabin is rented.
The house is located on the Selway River, between the 1.2-million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness areas, at an elevation of about 4,000 feet. It was once the residence of the district ranger and his family.
Most of the area is covered by coniferous forests, with open meadows near the river. Because of its size, the wilderness provides a secluded habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Populations of mountain lions and grey wolves live in the area, as well as coyote, fox, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, deer and black bears (learn about outdoor safety).
The adjacent Magruder Road provides drivers with a unique experience in the back country of Idaho. The road was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and remains much the same now as it did then. It continues to the Nez Perce Pass and is generally open in early June.
Hunting, fishing and hiking are popular activities enjoyed by visitors to the area. The adjacent Scenic and Wild Selway River and a variety of nearby mountain streams are well known for trout fishing. Anglers might see bullhead, rainbow, steelhead and cutthroat trout, as well as mountain whitefish.
There are a variety of trails that traverse the area, including the 11-mile Swet Creek Trail. It follows a creek bed and connects to other trails in the area. It is open to hiking and horseback riding. Bicycles and motorized travel are not allowed within wilderness boundaries but is allowed on roads.
WEST FORK RANGER DISTRICT 6735 WEST FORK ROAD DARBY MT 59829
For campground inquiries, please call: 406-821-3269
From Darby, Montana, travel south on Highway 93 for 4 miles to West Fork Road/Highway 473. Continue on this road for approximately 14 miles to the Nez Perce Road/Magruder Corridor Road #468 and go another 34 miles on the one-lane gravel, and partially paved road. Just before Deep Creek meets up with the Selway River, turn south at a stone bridge that crosses the creek and continue .5 mile to the rental cabin. High- clearance vehicles are advised on the road from the Montana from June through September. Snow may fall in the high country and along Nez Perce Pass in the fall and roads are not plowed. Maps may be purchased by stoping at the West Fork Ranger District.
From Elk City, Idaho to Magruder along road #468 to Magruder is generally not passable by vehicles until mid to late July, but call the West Fork Ranger District at (406)821-3269 to inquire if the road is open and ask about the current road conditions.