Cold Springs Guard Station, constructed in 1934, is a historic site tucked into the Ochoco National Forest. It served a special role as the switchboard station connecting phone calls between various fire lookouts and guard stations during the summer months, as well as housing for the fire guard and his family. The current cabinreplaced an earlier one that was destroyed by fire. Cold Springs Guard Station continued to be used by Forest Service employees into the 1990s, and remnants of itspast can still be seen today.
This is the perfect destination for guests wanting the creature comforts of a home while in a rustic, natural setting. This cabin is can be reserved from mid-May through mid-October, and it accommodates up to eight people. This cabin is not available the first Tuesday of each month for water testing, cleaning and maintenance.
Several bands of wild free-roaming horses live in the Ochoco National Forest. Visitors can learn more about these horses from a Forest Service interpretive sign on Forest Service Road 42 on the way to the cabin. Other wildlife in the area includes squirrels, chipmunks, antelope, deer, elk, geese, hawks, osprey, eagles, sandhill cranes and great horned owls.
Cold Spring Guard Station is located in an upland meadow near Big Summit Prairie, an area known for colorful wildflower displays that include wild parsley, bitterroot, cobalt blue meadow larkspur, Pecks mariposa lily and brilliant red Indian paintbrush. There are other plants that add beauty to this serene location, the most prominent being sagebrush and old-growth ponderosa pine. Quaking aspen mixes with the pines in the area surrounding the cabin.
Wildlife watching and wildflower viewing are the primary recreational activities in this area. Nearby activities include mountain biking, road biking, hiking, fishing and hunting. There is a horseshoe pit outside the cabin.
The multi-room cabin is comfortably equipped with two bathrooms, one featuring a tub and the other a shower, and both with flush toilets. The kitchen has a propanecook stove and a propane refrigerator, and is stocked with basic utensils and cleaning supplies. There are three bedrooms, complete with beds, and a living room. The heat and hot water are propane operated. The cabin has solar lights. Drinking water is available in the building. There is a picnic table and fire ring for outdoor dining and campfires.
This is a pack-it-in/pack-it-out facility, so visitors are asked to bring garbage bags. Visitors should also bring bedding, towels, washcloths, detergent, flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries and a first aid kit. The nearest town to buy supplies is 45 minutesaway.