Star Meadows Guard Station

Flathead National Forest

The Star Meadows Guard Station has all the rustic feel of a remote Forest Service cabin while still being accessible by paved road from Whitefish. Furnished with a refrigerator/freezer, range and oven, microwave, coffeemaker, pots and pans, dishes and silverware, and electric heat, this cabin has everything you need to come and enjoy some time in the Forest. Nearby Tally Lake and Sylvia Lake offer opportunities for water play and fishing and a centralized location in the Tally Lake District to access miles of hiking, biking or horseback riding trails with a trailhead right behind the cabin. Enjoy a large backyard area for family games, or just sit in front of the campfire with s’mores and make some memories. Star Meadows Guard Station is 23 miles from Whitefish on Forest Service Road #539. The road is paved and open year-round. 

The Star Meadows Guard Station was built in 1941 to house Forest Service personnel and stock for the Tally Lake District. It was built to replace a 1908 building at the same location. The site operated as a work center when the Ranger Station was located at Tally Lake. In 1953, the District Office moved to Whitefish. The station housed fire suppression crews, contractors, and timber camps, and served as a staging area for engineers designing and building the roads on the District. During the winter months, the road was not plowed, and the site was inaccessible. 

In 1991 a cultural survey found that the facilities were historically significant and were placed on the National Historic Register. In 2001, A Passport in Time project (PIT) funded the beginning of the restoration. 

The Star Meadow Guard Station is a two-room cabin. The bedroom has two bunk beds with queen on bottom and full on top and sleeps 6. The second room is the kitchen area with a couch, table with chairs and benches. A bunk house located 20 yards away from the main house has two bunkbeds and a futon couch. Sleeps 6 and is great for the kids!. There are electric heaters throughout the cabin and in the bunkhouse. The kitchen comes complete with refrigerator, oven, microwave and coffeemaker; dishes, utensils and pots and pans are provided. Cleaning supplies are provided and the cabin must be cleaned upon departure. All garbage must be packed out.

The restroom is a wood paneled vault toilet 20 yards from the cabin and has electric lights. A well with a hand pump is also located 30 yards from the cabin and water is available approximately April 1st through November 30th. There is no running water. A patio provides an outdoor area with tables, chairs and a charcoal grill. Please bring your own charcoal and empty it in the receptacle provided. An outdoor fire pit, picnic tables and horse shoe pit are in the large backyard.

Dogs are allowed. No pets are allowed on the furniture and cleaning up after them is required. Pets may not be left in the cabin while renters are away; an outdoor kennel is provided.

The site is also an excellent area for large family gatherings, with ample room in the lower meadow for several RVs or tents. Stock animals are allowed, but there is no corral or running water on site. Renters with stock or additional camp units should contact the district prior to their stay for access to the lower meadow and an additional fee may be charged.

Guests must bring their own bedding and food, among other necessities. Guests will also need to bring water if the reservation falls outside of the range of dates when water is available nearby. There is no cell phone service at the cabin. During winter storms or snowfall accumulation, the paved access road may not be plowed, so be prepared for winter driving and road emergencies. This is a non-smoking facility. Please be respectful to adjacent neighbors.

Notifications and Alerts

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Natural Features

The cabin sits in a valley near the foot of Mt. Swaney, providing views of the surrounding forested mountains. It is in the northwestern corner of Flathead National Forest in the Tally Lake Ranger District.

Nearby Attractions

The town of Whitefish is about 45 minutes away. Tally Lake, the second deepest lake in Montana is located 7 miles away. 


There is plenty of opportunity for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking in the area surrounding the cabin. Trail #171A starts in the back yard and goes all the way to Sylvia Lake approximately 10 miles away. In the winter, visitors enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Snowmobiling can be enjoyed on designated trails, but is not permitted on the cabin grounds.

Big game hunting in the national forest lands is a popular activity enjoyed by visitors, as well as fishing in Sheppard Creek behind the cabin, other nearby mountain streams and Tally Lake, which is about 11 miles east of the cabin. Guests at the cabin also enjoy ample open space for yard games and other outdoor group activities.

Contact Information


650 Wolfpack Way Kalispell MT 59901

Physical Address

5250 Star Meadow Road Whitefish MT 59937

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 406-758-5204

Rental Options

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Driving Directions

5250 Star Meadows Road
Whitefish, Montana 59937

Travel from Whitefish west on Highway 93 approximately 12 miles to mile marker 139, turn left onto Farm to Market Road. Continue 1.7 miles; turn right at the "Tally Lake Campground" sign onto the "Star Meadows Road". Continue to mile marker 15 located almost across from the cabin driveway.

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