American River Guard Station

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

Dappled sunlight filters through the trees and splashes across the shake roof of the American River Guard Station. The cabin, located in the heart of the central Cascades recreation area in eastern Washington off the scenic Mather Memorial Parkway, offers visitors a step back in time in a beautiful, natural setting.

The Depression-era rustic cabin is one and a half stories tall, with a wood frame and shake roof. Recently refurbished and freshly painted, it has a small kitchen, a living/sleeping area, and a bedroom, as well as a full sized sleeping loft and storage room. The clean and comfortable cabin is furnished with many amenities: a small refrigerator, electric range, a dining table and chairs for four people (with hidden leaf to expand for eight people), a queen size sleeper sofa in the living room, a full size bed and mattress in the bedroom, two twin size beds in the upstairs loft, a wood stove, light fixtures and a living room electric baseboard heater. The kitchen is equipped with a coffee maker, pots, dishes and glassware. A picnic table and fire ring is located near the cabin. The original two-seater outhouse has recently been restored.

There is no water at the cabin; visitors must bring plenty for drinking, cooking and washing. (In the summer, drinking water can be obtained from the nearby Cedar Spring Campground.) The cabin contains a variety of cleaning supplies (broom, dustpan, mop and bucket, sponges, cleansers). All food and garbage must be removed to help deter rodents. In the summer, waste disposal is provide by a dumpster in the nearby American Forks Campground. When the campground is closed for the season, visitors must "pack it out and home".

  • Availability: American River Guard Station is available year round.
  • Price and Capacity: $50 per night, per group, with a maximum of eight occupants. Fees are used directly for the maintenance and preservation of the Guard Station.
  • Reservations: The maximum length stay is 14 consecutive nights. Phone 1-877-444-6777 or visit


The American River Guard Station was built in 1941 as a summer residence and work site for fire patrol and recreation management personnel. The builders were men of the 932nd Camp Naches Civilian Conservation Corps crew. A rear addition to house, including a bathroom and water heater, laundry and sink room, was added at a later time. The guard station was still occupied by Naches Ranger District personnel in the summers through the 1960s, but its principal use in these later years was as a bunkhouse rather than a work station. Typically two or three seasonal employees lived here in the summer and commuted roughly twelve miles east every morning to the Ranger Station. Forest Service use of the cabin declined in the late 1970s. Volunteers and people granted permits sporadically used the cabin, but it has largely remained vacant. In 1999 the cabin was found eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Restoration of the cabin began in 2004.


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At a Glance

Current Conditions: Year round cabin rental.
Reservations: This site can be reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or on-line at
Area Amenities: Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Closest Towns: Naches, WA

General Information


Located off Highway 410 near milepost 88. From Naches, WA travel west on Highway 12 for 4.4 miles. Continue straight onto Highway 410 W for 27.5 miles. Turn left onto Bumping River Rd / Forest Road 1800. Cross the bridge over American River, then turn left onto the American Forks Campground Road. The cabin and access road will be on the left shortly after turning onto the campground road. Up to 4 passenger vehicles may be parked at the guard station site. Additional cars and recreational vehicles may be accommodated in the nearby overflow parking off Bumping Road 1800. Major roads accessing the cabin from Naches are plowed in the winter.

General Notes:
  • No smoking
  • Pets are welcome
  • Livestock not permitted
  • Additional camping is available at the nearby American Forks Campground during the summer season


  • Outhouse
  • Electricity
  • Light fixtures
  • Space heaters
  • Wood stove
  • Picnic table
  • Fire Ring

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Camping & Cabins

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Cabin Rentals

Local opportunities to hike, boat, view nature and bird watch, fish, hunt, auto-tour and enjoy winter activities abound. The cabin setting provides ready access to Bumping Lake, where boating and fishing are popular, horse and hiker trails in the William O. Douglas and Norse Peak Wilderness areas, off-road vehicle and snowmobile opportunities in the Little Naches drainage, and snow-shoeing and cross-crossing skiing opportunities in the American River area. The cabin is also conveniently located thirty minutes below the summit of Chinook Pass and Mt. Rainier National Park.


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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OHV Riding & Camping

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Water Activities

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Winter Sports

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Picnic tables
Drinking water