Short Creek Guard Station

Area Status: Open
Short Creek Guard Station

Short Creek Guard Station rests in a corner of a small meadow surrounded by tall ponderosa pines and a creek right outside the back door.  The cabin amenities provide all the comforts of a home.  Directly adjacent to the North Fork Malheur Scenic River.  The guard station is a great starting point for anyone wishing to explore the forests two designated wilderness areas; Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and Monument Rock Wilderness.  It is the ideal place to relax and explore the great outdoors.  Within just minutes of the cabin is the North Fork Malheur River Trail, affording a great opportunity for hikers and nature lovers alike.   

The Short Creek Guard Station is located approximately 20 miles from the town of Prairie City, Oregon. The Guard Station’s elevation is approximately 5,000 feet.  This rustic cabin has three rooms - a kitchen/living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom.  Sleeping accommodations include one Queen Size bed.  The kitchen/living room is furnished with a table and four chairs, a couch, a living room chair, and a coffee table.  The kitchen is equipped with propane cookstove, and refrigerator.  The cabin has propane lights and heater. 

The small indoor bathroom provides you with a flushable toilet, shower, and sink.  Water is only available duirng warm months.  A picnic table, two barbeque grills, and a fire pit are located next to the building.



Short Creek was renovated in 2011 Short Creek Kitchet Short Creek Bathroom Short Creek Bedroom Outside view of Guard Station

At a Glance

Current Conditions: To make reservations please visit: or call 1-877-444-6777. 
Operational Hours: Check-in time is 4:00 pm pst, and Check-out time is 1:00 pm pst.
Reservations: Short Creek Guard Station is accessible via reservation only.  To make reservations please visit or call 1-877-444-6777. 
Fees: The fee is $60.00 per night. 
Open Season: June 10 - October 31
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Prairie City, OR.  
Water: Site has potable water
Restroom: Indoor Bathroom
Operated By: Prairie City Ranger District
Information Center: Prairie City Ranger District Recreation.

General Information


From the town of Prairie City, OR., turn onto South Main Street. Follow South Main Street to the junction with Bridge Street, turn left onto Bridge Street.  Follow Bridge Street past the local cemetery, the road then changes to County Road 62.  Continue on County Road 62 approximately 7 miles to the junction with Forest Road 13.  Follow Forest Road 13 approximately 12 miles, the guard station will be on the right.  

General Notes:
  • No smoking
  • Pets are welcome
  • There is no additional camping on site


Drinking water is available only during warmer months; water will be shut off from early to mid-October until mid to late May or early June depending on temperatures. 

  • Flushable toilet (Summer Season)
  • Hot Water  (Summer Season)
  • Potable Water  (Summer Season)
  • Shower  (Summer Season)
  • Propane Lights
  • Propane Heater
  • Refrigerator
  • Cook Stove


There is a ample parking beyond the gate leading into the rental.  The combination on the gate is the same as that of the lock to get into the cabin.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Cabin Rentals

In the summer months, popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Located within 10 miles from the Guard Station are the Monument Rock and Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, and the North Fork of the Malheur Scenic River. The Wilderness provides rugged, high country hiking with over a hundred miles of trails that offer vista after vista to the enterprising hiker. If easy to moderate trails are more appealing, then try any of the many trails located just a few miles away from the Guard Station. The beautiful riparian habitat of the North Fork Malheur River offer an ideal setting for camping, picnicking, fishing, and observing all kinds of wildlife. The Wilderness has many wildlife viewing opportunities as well. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness has an extremely diverse ecological makeup with five of the seven major life zones in North America with around 378 kinds of animals and approximately 22 fish species.

Viewing Wildlife

Wildlife is abundant throughout the area.  Visitors have the opportunity to see big game animals such as Rocky Mountain Elk, mule deer, black bear and cougar.  Other creatures such as coyotes call this area home and may be heard yipping and howling during the warm summer nights. A wide variety of birds call the area home, from small sparrows to large predatory birds such as hawks and eagles.  Small creatures such as squirrels and chipmunks can be seen scampering along the ground or up through the beautiful ponderosa pine trees.

Cattle call this area home throughout the summer months, you will hear them calling to one another and see them along the road and throughout the woods. 

Viewing Plants

The guard station is set amongst beautiful ponderosa pine trees.  Starting in early spring and continueing through the summer months visitors have the opportunity to see beautiful wildflowers in the area.  Many varieties of plants grow throughout the area, allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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