Upper Crossing Guard Station Cabin

Area Status: Open
off hwy 114

Upper Crossing Guard Station is the original headquarters of the old Cochetopa National Forest that existed for only a few years during the early part of the last century. The cabin is also located in an area that was once one of the favorite camping areas of the Ute Indians in the San Luis Valley. Located along a scenic byway near the Continental Divide, Upper Crossing Guard Station provides a remote setting that is easily accessible year-round via U.S. Highway 114. The brief dirt road leading to the cabin is actually the old stagecoach route, complete with historic graffiti that served as billboards advertising goods and services at the stagecoach stops.

Though Upper Crossing Guard Station offers visitors relaxing solitude in a secluded setting, the cabin is situated near a paved highway and also offers numerous modern amenities, such as: running water, heated water, electricity, propane heat, a full bathroom (with ADA accessible shower) and ADA accessible kitchen with appliances. The cabin was recently remodeled and is the Rio Grande National Forest's most accessible facility to persons with disabilities, despite it being a remote and historic Forest Service Guard Station.

Views from the cabin include the Continental Divide and unspoiled surrounding countryside, as well as some of the State's most scenic working ranches. The cabin sits at the confluence of two creeks and offers visitors the opportunity for various streamside activities, including fishing. The surrounding public lands are a wide open opportunity for visitors to enjoy all sorts of Colorado outdoor recreation.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open:  Cabin is open year round.  Cabin is available only Thursday through Monday with a Tuesday morning checkout.
Reservations: Reservations and payment made through recreation.gov. Or call 877-444-6777.  There is a mandatory four day reservation for this guard station.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water
Fees: Fee is $75.00 per night plus a reservation fee from Recreation.gov.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: May thru November
Restrictions: Make sure the fire in the outside fire ring is completely out. No hot coals above or below the surface of the soil. Clean the cabin, leaving it in the condition is was found or better. Please lock door when leaving. Be sure to close and lock the gate when you leave. During the winter you may need to snowmobile, snow shoe or ski from the nearest maintained road (approximately .5 miles) in order to access the cabin. Horses are not allowed. Dogs must be under master's control at all times and are not allowed to harass wildlife or livestock. Renters are required to pack out all garbage. Please leave the cabin as nice or nicer than when you arrived.  Occasionally government livestock is located next to the guard station.  Please do not interact with them.
Closest Towns: Saguache, CO
Water: Yes - hot water & shower
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From Denver, travel about 185 miles south on Highway 285 to Saguache. From Colorado Springs go south on Hwy 115 to Florence, then west on Hwy 50 to Salida, then south on Hwy 285 (total of 165 miles) to Saguache. From Albuquerque, travel about 57 miles north on I-25 to Santa Fe, then north on Hwy 285 (total of 275 miles) to Saguache. From Saguache, take Colorado Hwy 114 for 22 miles northwest from Saguache (set your Trip Meter/Odometer at the intersection of Highways 285 and 114 in town). Turn right (east) on Forest Road 810 (Sheep Cr. Road). When you come to the 'T' in the road turn right and go approx .5 mile and the cabin will be on your left. If you are traveling on HWY 114 from Gunnison, the Sheep Cr. Road (FR 810) exit is approximately 8 miles from the Continental Divide. A notable landmark to help find the Sheep Cr. Road (FR 810) exit is the 'Holey Rock', a small hill covered with 'holes', located on the west side of HWY 114 and directly opposite to the Sheep Cr. Road (FR 810) exit.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Cabin Rentals

During winter months may be accessible only by snowmobile, skis or snowshoes, call Saguache Ranger District 719-655-2547 for current road conditions

Reservation Info This cabin is part of the NRRS. Reserve this unit by calling NRRS at 1-877-444-6777 or visiting the website at www.recreation.gov. ( Click here to reserve)
Size Restrictions Sleeps 9; three bunk beds (Top =single; Bottom = fold out futon couch that sleeps two)

River and Stream Fishing

Sheep Creek and nearby streams
Water Temperature cold
Water/Flow Level seasonal

Day Hiking

Hiking along several forest roads in the vicinity

Big Game Hunting

Open during hunting season - see Colorado Division of Wildlife regulations. Unit 681

Species deer, elk

Viewing Wildlife

Wildlife viewing
Species elk, deer, small birds \& mammals

OHV Road Riding

OHV riding allowed on forest roads. Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available online and at all Rio Grande National Forest offices.

Class of Vehicle 4WD, ATV \& motorcycle

Scenic Driving

Gorgeous scenery west on Hwy 114
Size Restrictions Easy
Corrals Easy

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Cross country ski opportunities on 4x4 roads


Snowmobiling, UTV/ATV, and non-licensed motorcycle access to forest roads is limited directly from the Cabin.  Non-street legal vehicles will need to be transported a short distance to access federal motor-vehicle use roads and trails.  

Snowmobiles as well as ATV's, UTV's, and motorcycles modified with tracks are allowed off road beyond over-the-snow boundary restriction areas.  Tracked vehicles must remain on top of the snow and not cause resource damage to soil underneath.  See the Rio Grande National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and Saguache District Map for additional information.  Riders must have a Colorado State snowmobile permit in addition to their normal ATV permit if the vehicle is used year-round.  Contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife for permit information. 


Picnic tables:
Toilets: Indoor restroom
Accessible: ADA accessible bathroom and kitchen
Drinking water: Tested monthly

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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