Moose Lake Cabin is located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in southwestern Montana. The historic cabin, which was built in 1917 for use as a Forest Service work cabin, offers visitors access to the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Area, which covers almost 250 square miles of mountain ranges.
Many lakes and streams provide ample access to world famous trout fishing and the area also boasts miles of roads and trails for hiking, backpacking, OHV and horseback riding.
The cabin can typically be accessed by vehicle, depending on road and weather conditions. Excessive snowfall may require visitors to walk, ski, or snowshoe about a quarter mile from the main road to the cabin. Moose Lake Road is plowed during winter. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring most of their own amenities.
This is a small, primitive, one-room cabin and is equipped with two sets of bunk beds with mattress pads that can sleep up to four people. It has a small table and chairs and a few pots for heating water.
There is a wood stove for heat and firewood is provided but cannot be guaranteed. A shared outhouse with a vault toilet is nearby and a small dispersed camping area is a few hundred yards from the cabin. A seasonally available hand pump for drinking water, a picnic table, and fire pit are also outside.
Guests will need to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows, as well as matches, food, toilet paper, propane stove and garbage bags. There is very limited cell phone service available unless you gain elevation or go back toward Highway 1. Guests are asked to replenish the supply of split wood and kindling, pack out all trash and food, and clean the cabin prior to leaving.
There is a fenced pasture for horses next to the cabin but you must check the fence for damage before using it. Do not corral your horses on the cabin grounds.
In order to better serve a wider spectrum of the public, this cabin can only be reserved for 5 consecutive nights. This will start with the August 2021 reservations. Thank you, and please call the Pintler Ranger District Recreation staff at 406-859-8219 if you have questions.
The cabin is located on the Middle Fork of Rock Creek (Moose Lake Road, FR 5106) near the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. It sits at the edge of an open meadow, surrounded by evergreens and nearby peaks. The Middle Fork of Rock Creek flows about 100 yards behind the cabin. There is easy access to the creek, and good fishing.
The cabin has dodged several large wildfires, and you will see old fire scars from lightning caused fires on the ridges.
The area is known for its high, rugged and beautiful mountain scenery, as well as the variety of wildlife that makes its home there, including elk, moose, deer, mountain lions and bears(grizzly and black bears) (learn more about bear safety).
The Skalkaho Highway (Highway 38) leads into the Sapphire Mountains along a primitive and once widely used Native American trail. The scenic drive, which is closed during winter, was built to provide access between mining areas and agricultural communities in the Bitterroot Valley. About 30 miles from the cabin, the road leads to Skalkaho Falls in the neighboring Bitterroot National Forest.
Moose Lake day use area is available for swimming and picnics in the summer, and ice fishing in winter.
There is a groomed snowmobile route from Copper Creek campground to Frog Pond Basin.
There are many trailheads in the vicinity, both wilderness access and non. There is an ATV loop from Copper creek over O'brien ridge to Frog Pond Basin and back down to Copper Creek.
Moose Lake Cabin provides access to hunting, fishing, hiking or just relaxing. Participants must have Montana licenses to hunt or fish. Fishing for brook and cutthroat trout is excellent in the area. The Middle Fork of Rock Creek as well as Copper Creek and other smaller creeks are close by.
Visitors also enjoy snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing in the area during the winter. Various weather conditions can increase avalanche danger in the area; visitors are encouraged to carry proper backcountry equipment, including a beacon, shovel and probe while recreating.
Hiking and horseback riding trails lead into the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. There are three trailheads in the area, none more than a six mile drive from the cabin. As a reminder, pelletized or certified weed seed free feed and straw is required in all National Forests in Montana.
Reservations are nonrefundable unless extenuating circumstances warrant otherwise. Determination will be made on a case by case basis.
88 Business Loop Philipsburg MT 59858
For campground inquiries, please call: 406-859-3211
From Philipsburg, travel south on Highway 1 for about 7 miles to the junction with Skalkaho Highway/Highway 38. Turn right onto Highway 38 and continue west for about 9 miles and turn left onto Moose Lake Road/Forest Road 5106. Travel another 9 miles to the cabin. Winter weather conditions may require visitors to park on the main road and hike about a quarter-mile to the cabin. Maps may be purchased by calling the Pintler Ranger District.