Snyder Guard Station


Photo of Snyder Guard StationSnyder Guard station, located on the banks of the scenic Moyie River, has been listed on the National Register for Historic places since 1982. The complex of seven buildings includes a residence, two log cabins, a cookhouse, warehouse, corrals, a machinery shed and a garage. The facility is spread across 10 lovely acres and is perfect for large groups of up to 70 people or small family getaways. The buildings on the property were constructed from 1906 to 1936, and most structures are available for rent. A group picnic and camping area provide additional campsites and amenities for six RVs, plenty of room for tent camping, pathways to the river, and more. Snyder was originally constructed as a remote work station for early Forest Service employees. As roads were constructed and transportation improved, the site no longer required live-in crews, so visitors can now use these buildings as recreation rentals.

Natural Features: Snyder Guard Station is located within the Lower Kootenai River Area (Bonners Ferry District) of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The area is bordered by the Purcell and Cabinet Ranges and the Montana Line on the east, the rugged Selkirk Range on the west, and the Canadian border to the north. The Kootenai River meanders north and west through the District, and the Moyie River joins it from the north. The Guard Station sits at an elevation of 2,500 feet along the Moyie River, 8 miles south of the Canadian border. Terrain in the river valley is relatively flat, and is bordered by Queen Mountain to the West and Ruby Mountain to the east. The mixed conifer forest include Douglas fir and spruce. Wildlife sightings include elk, deer, black bears, moose and bald eagles.

Recreation: Outdoor recreational opportunities abound on the Moyie River and nearby lakes. Fishing, whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all popular pastimes. Over 70 miles of trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and motorcyclists. The Copper Falls viewpoint trail is just a few miles from the Snyder Guard Station on copper Falls Road #2517. Hunting, huckleberry picking, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are enjoyed in season.

Facilities:  Historic Site buildings include the main ranger house, two small log cabins, a cookhouse, a horse pole barn, and several administrative buildings. Camping Loop buildings include a 50' x 30' covered picnic shelter, a camping loop with six sites with picnic tables and fire rings, a vault toilet, and additional parking for 10 vehicles. Additionally, two horse corrals, vault toilets, drinking water faucets, campfire rings, picnic tables, and a mowed grassy playing field are available for use. 

The ranger house has three bedrooms, a bathroom with a flush toilet and hot shower (low capacity, only for groups under 25 people, outdoor screened shower areas are also available), a living room, dining room, and a fully stocked kitchen with enough utensils for 12 guests. The small cabins come with three to four beds and a table and chair. These cabins have no electricity. Most facilities and furnishings are 80-110 years old, please use them gently and treat them with respect. 

The cookhouse is furnished with benches and tables to seat 30, plus cookware and place settings. Outdoor amenities include picnic tables and campfire rings at six sites and a large picnic shelter with a fireplace and grills.

Campers should bring basic camping gear like bedding or sleeping bags, flashlights, food, matches, garbage bags, towels and dish soap. (Click here for more cabin details.)

A restaurant, gas station and convenience store are less than 10 miles down the road.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Forest Service employees still use the site and may be present during business hours Volunteer hosts are on hand to answer questions; however, they do not provide cleaning service There is no telephone or cell service at the site. No candles, open flames, or smoking in any building
Reservations:  Reservations can be made at  Reservations must be made 4 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance.
Fees 1-6 people: $50/night, 7-13 people: $70/night, over 13 people: $110/night (porta potty required for reservations of more than 25 people)
Open Season: May - December
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed in any of our cabins, lookouts or historic recreation areas that are available for reservation.
Closest Towns: Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Water: Potable water
Restroom: Flush toilet
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Entry is by combination lock; contact the ranger district at (208) 267-5561 for combination 10-14 days prior to arrival Please clean up after pets, no more than 2 pets per group allowed and groups over 25 should not bring pets. Groups larger than 50 people must apply for a special use permit, contact the Bonners Ferry Ranger District for information upon making your reservation. There is a 3 night stay limit for groups over 50 people. Tent camping is available in the camping loop only, no tents on the historic site. No firewood cutting on Snyder grounds; please bring firewood or cut on adjacent Forest Service lands RVs are welcome but must be self-contained; no hookups or dump stations Please bring garbage bags; this is a "pack it in-pack it out" facility Bring certified weed free hay only, Horses must stay in corrals; they are not allowed on mowed lawns

General Information


Snyder Guard Station is located 36 road miles northeast of Bonners Ferry, ID and takes 50 minutes to drive from point to point. 

From the Bonners Ferry Ranger Station, drive north on US 95 for 29.5 miles to Moyie River Road. Turn right (south) onto Moyie River Road (at Good Grief Cafe) and travel south for 5.5 miles. Snyder Guard Station is on the right and is marked with a sign. Travel time is 50 minutes from the Bonners Ferry Ranger District.


 Accessible sites and vault restrooms.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Cabin Rentals

Dispersed Camping

Attractions include the scenic Moyie River, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. A dispersed camping area is available with rental of the Snyder Guard Station Cabins.

Group Camping

Attractions include the scenic Moyie River, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
Group Cooking FacilitiesCookhouse
No. of Sites6 camp sites for RVs and an open area for tent camping.
Reservation InfoCamping sites are available with rental of the Snyder Guard Station Cabins.

RV Camping

Attractions include the scenic Moyie River, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
No. of Sites6 campsites
Reservation InfoSites are available with rental of the Snyder Guard Station Cabins

Campground Camping

Attractions include the scenic Moyie River, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
No. of SitesSites are available with rental of the Snyder Guard Station Cabins.
No. of Accessible sites6 camp units


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Fire Danger Level: High

Related Information

Areas & Activities


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  Elevation : 
2490 feet