White River National Forest hunting
Piney Guard Station is a rustic cabin that was constructed in the 1930’s as a work station for Forest Service crews. This 14x22-ft. structure only has a single room and is built from logs.
Piney Guard Station is located at 9, 100 feet in the White River National Forest, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, which is near Vail. The cabin is nestled in a forest dominated by aspen, spruce, pine, and fir trees. Guests can enjoy views of the Gore Mountain Range from a meadow to the cabin’s north side.
Local wildlife, including moose, may be spotted near the lake, which sits across the road from the cabin. The White River National Forest is also home to elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, Canada lynx, and black bear. Birders may see bald eagles, peregrine falcons, Barrow's golden-eye and black swifts.
The cabin is conveniently located near a variety of year-round recreational activities. The Forest Service road leading to the cabin is used by mountain bikers, hikers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers. This area is popular for hunting big and small game, game birds, and waterfowl.
Piney Guard Station can sleep up to 4 people. It contains a bunk bed, 2 cots, storage cabinets, a table and benches, and a woodstove. Skillet, dishware, and utensils are provided. A two burner stove and lantern are provided. These require 16.4-oz. propane cylinder bottles, which are not provided and are your responsibility. A picnic table and metal fire ring are just outside the cabin’s door. A vault toilet is located approximately 50 feet from the cabin. Guests can easily gather firewood around the cabin.
No drinking water, electricity, or trash service is available; guests must bring their own water and garbage bags to pack out trash. Guests should consider packing most items they would bring on a regular camping trip.
At a Glance
Travel west from Vail on I-70 to Exit 157 for Wolcott. Turn right/north to Hwy 6. Turn left/west on Hwy 6 to Hwy 131. Turn right/north and travel approximately 5 miles to the Muddy Pass Road - FSR 700 on the right just after the Eagle County Landfill. Turn right onto Forest Road #700 (Muddy Pass Road). From this location, you must follow seasonal access directions to the cabin, as detailed below:
During the summer season, it is recommended to use a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle. If you choose to use a 2 -wheel drive vehicle or all-wheel-drive SUV, you can drive about 7 miles up Muddy Pass Road #700, but will need to park at the intersection with Forest Road #700 and #744, which is 3 miles away from the cabin. From this location, one must hike or mountain bike up Forest Road #744 to the cabin with gear and supplies.
Off Highway Vehicles (OHV/ATV) are permitted to access the cabin via Forest Roads #700 and #744.
Accessing the cabin during the winter season depends on snowpack. During high snowpack, park at the intersection with Forest Road #700 and Highway 131. From here, travel via snowmobile, skis, or snowshoes on Forest Road #700 for approximately 7 miles. Then, turn left onto Forest Road #744 and travel 3 miles to the cabin.
If the snow is minimal, you may be able to use a high clearance 4-wheel drive to the gravel pit area, which is about 7 miles up Muddy Pass Road #700 from Hwy 131. From the gravel pit area, snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe on Forest Road #744 for approximately 3 miles to the cabin.
Piney Guard station is typically closed from April 30th - June 4th during "mud season". During this time, there is usually not enough snow in this area for over-snow travel and the road does not open to wheeled vehicles for the summer season until May 21, and usually remains too muddy to drive on without doing damage for a bit longer.
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