Trout Creek Guard Station

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Photo of the Trout Creek Guard Station.

The Trout Creek Guard Station is located in the Trout Creek area, approximately 21 miles west of U.S. Highway 191 near Vernal, in eastern Utah. It is part of the beautiful Ashley National Forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the complex in 1934 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal instituted during the Great Depression. It was a residence for rangers who patrolled the forest on horseback prior to the age of modern vehicles. 

The Ashley National Forest Vernal Ranger District has chosen to rent this guard station to the public so guests can enjoy a primitive experience similar to that of the first rangers. The cabin is open for reservations all months of the year except November, April and May.

Natural Features:
The charming red cabin sits at the edge of a meadow, just above Trout Creek. A scenic forest of pines and aspens surrounds the expansive meadow. Wildlife and summer wildflowers are abundant.

In summer months, numerous hiking, biking and off-road trails crisscross the area. In winter months, endless snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities are right out the door. Other activties include birding, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.

The cabin can sleep four people on two, twin-sized bunk beds. No linens, bedding or pillows are provided. Up to eight additional guests can camp outside within the complex. 

The kitchen contains basic amenities including a sink, propane stove and oven, refrigerator, table and four chairs. A basic assortment of pots, pans, dishes and utensils is provided, but guests are encouraged to bring their own. The cabin has a wood stove inside for heat, and a campfire ring with a grill is outside. A vault toilet is provided outside the cabin. Solar lights are provided, however, due to varying weather conditions, they are not reliable. Please be prepared with battery powered lanterns or flashlights. 

From approximately Sept. 26 to March 31, most amenities are shut off, including the refrigerator. The operable amenities during this time are an outdoor vault toilet, propane stove for cooking and a wood-burning stove for heat. 

Nearby Attractions:
Numerous scenic driving routes on maintained dirt roads crisscross the area, providing miles of trails for off-road enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers. Trails lead to Oaks Park, East Park and Long Park Reservoirs, as well as smaller lakes, overlooks, forests, meadows and historic sites.

Location Map

At a Glance

Reservations: Reservations can be made 120 days in advance. This site can be reserved by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777)
Area Amenities: Toilets,Drinking water
Fees $60/group size of 4. A maximum of 12 people is allowed within the guard station complex per reservation. 
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Vernal, Utah
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Non-flushable (vault) toilet
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:
  • Trout Creek Guard Station is secured with a combination lock, which is provided upon reservation; call the District Office at (435) 789-1181 three days prior to your reservation to confirm combination 
  • No trash collection is provided; this is a "pack it in, pack it out" facility 
  • Off-road vehicles are allowed only on authorized roads, trails and routes as identified on the Ashley National Forest Vernal Ranger District Travel Map 
  • Don't Move Firewood: Help prevent the spread of tree-killing pests in our national forests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit

General Information


Follow the mileage indications below and look for signs on the ground when traveling to Trout Creek Guard Station. Leave with plenty of time to arrive at the guard station before dark. 

From Vernal, travel north on U.S. Highway 191/Vernal Avenue for approximately 20 miles. Turn left (west) on Forest Road 020/018; a paved parking lot with a restroom is located at this intersection. Follow paved Forest Road 020 northwest approximately 9 miles. The pavement ends and the road turns to gravel after the East Park Campground junction. Continue on gravel Forest Road 020 (locally called White Cloud Loop after pavement ends) approximately 10 miles. Trout Creek Park will be in the foreground and Trout Creek Guard Station will be visible to the northwest. Turn right (north) to Trout Creek Guard Station (red building). If you reach the intersection with Forest Road 018 (Red Cloud Loop), you have gone too far.


Level parking is provided for a maximum of two RVs or camp trailers; no hookups are available.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Drinking water
Toilets Non-flushable toilet (vault)
Areas & Activities


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