Backcountry Patrol Cabins

The U.S. Army constructed backcountry cabins and snowshoe cabins to provide facilities for troops patrolling for poachers. Typically these were about 16 miles apart-a day’s travel. The four backcountry cabins surviving from this period are still used by the National Park Service for backcountry patrols (visitor safety, law enforcement, poaching), to temporarily house researchers, and as visitor contract stations. Located in remote parts of the park that are accessible only by foot and horseback, these cabins serve as welcome refuges for crews where they can rest and get out of the cold, rain, and snow.

Each cabin is rectangular in the “Rocky Mountain” style which is exemplified by the entrance and covered porch with a gable end. This contrasts with eastern and midwestern log cabins where the entrance is often found on a side wall and the covered entry porch incorporates a shallower pitched shed roof. The roofs are cedar shingles, but were originally sod.

Foundations (floors) were originally dirt, but have been replaced with concrete. Doors are on the south side. The cabins rest on concrete foundations with the sill logs directly on the foundation.   Cabins are one or two rooms incorporating sleeping, cooking and work areas. Interiors are simple. Cabins have both wood heat and cooking stoves. Interior furnishings are typically sparse and include bunk beds, bookcases, table, and may have desks.

If there’s a photo of the cabin available, the cabin name will be highlighted.  Click on it to see what the cabin looks like.  All photos courtesy NPS unless otherwise specified.

Yellowstone Backcountry Patrol Cabins


Cabin NameLocation
Buffalo Lake Cabin
(1) [Map]
Southwest portion of park, north of Bechler Ranger Station, at Buffalo Lake, off Boundary Trail (Sometimes called the Boundary Creek  Cabin).  Constructed in 1912, it is the oldest cabin in the system.
Buffalo Plateau Cabin
(2)  [Map]
Built in 1934.  Located outside the park, at the seat of Hummingbird Mountain on the Buffalo Creek.  Sometimes called the Buffalo Fork Cabin.
Cabin Creek Cabin
(3) [Map]
Built in 1970.  East of southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake, just west of Colter Peak on Cabin Creek, off the Thorofare Trail
Calfee Creek Cabin
(4)  [Map]
East, center portion of park, due east of Mt. Washburn,
along Lamar River on Calfee Creek.  Sometimes referred to as the Lower Miller Creek Cabin.
Cascade Creek CabinBurned in the 1970s.  Since removed.
Clear Creek Cabin
(5) [Map]
Built in 1937.  Eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake, north of Elk Point where Clear Creek begins, 2 miles south of East Entrance Road.
Cold Creek Cabin
(6)  [Map]
Built in 1934.  East, center part of park, @ foot of Little Saddle Mountain, west of Absaroka Mountains, off the Lamar River Trail.
Cougar Creek Cabin
(7)  [Map]
Built in 1935.  West portion of park, along Cougar Creek, north of West Entrance Road.  Cougar Cabin Trail leads right to it (off the Gneiss Creek Trail).
Cove Cabin
(8)  [Map]
Built in 1973.  Northwest side of Shoshone Lake, in Lake’s “cove” (off North Shoshone Lake Trail).
Crevice Mt Cabin
(9)  [Map]
Built in 1912.  North, center of park, at the foot of Crevice Mountain, north of Knowles Falls, along Crevice Creek right on border of park, east of Rattlesnake Butte
Daly Creek Cabin
(10) [Map]
Built in 1925.  Very Northwest corner of park, north of Lava Butte, east of Crown Butte, off the Daly Creek Trail.
Deaf Jim Cabin  [Map]
Lost in Little Joe fire in August, 2001. Not rebuilt.
Elk Tongue Cabin
(11)  [Map]
Built in 1936.  Northeast portion of park, at the  intersection of Slough Creek & Bliss Pass Trails, west of Northeast Entrance.
Fawn Pass Cabin
(12)  [Map]
Built in 1925.  Northwest portion of park, east of Fawn Pass, south of Gray Peak.
Fern Lake Cabin
(13)  [Map]
Built in 1931.  Center, east part of park, 12 miles due east of Canyon, northeast of Fern Lake.
Fox Creek Cabin
(14)  [Map]
Built in 1915.  South border of park, directly south of South Arm of Yellowstone Lake, along Snake River
Harebell Cabin
(15)  [Map]
Built in 1920.  Along southern border of park, 12 miles east of South Entrance, directly south of Heart Lake, west of Big Game Ridge (along South Boundary Trail).
Heart Lake Cabin
(16)  [Map]
Built in 1923.  North aspect of Heart Lake, northeast of Mt. Sheridan on the Heart Lake Trail.
Hellroaring Cabin
(17)  [Map]
Built in 1920.  North part of park, just south of MT/WY border, northwest of Tower, south of Hellroaring Mountain
Howell Fork Cabin
(18) [Map]
Built in 1974.  Southeast portion of park, east/southeast of Table Mountain, east/northeast of Turret Mountain,  along Howell Creek, near Camp Site 6D7 (Just inside park boundary)
Upper Lamar River Cabin (19) [Map]
Built in 1934.  East, center part of park, along Lamar River, foot of Saddle Mountain, in Absaroka Range
Lower Blacktail Cabin
(20)  [Map]
Built in 1925.  North portion of park, at confluence of Yellowstone River and Blacktail Deer Creek (on MT/WY state line).
Mary Lake Cabin
(21)  [Map]
Built in 1927.  In center of park, on shore of Mary Lake, off Mary Mountain Trail.
Nez Perce Cabin
(22)  [Map]
Built in 1944.  Located off service road, due east of Fountain Flat Road.  Sometimes referred to as Fountain Cabin.
Outlet Cabin 
(23) [Map]
Built in 1973.  East side of Shoshone Lake just north of Lewis River outlet.
Park Point CabinWas at Park Point on east shore of Yellowstone Lake.  Mysteriously burned in 1992.
Peale Island Cabin 
(24) [Map]
Built in 1942.  On north end of Peale Island in South Arm of Yellowstone Lake
Pelican Cone Cabin
(Observation Peak)
(25) [Map]
On top of Pelican Cone, east/southeast of Canyon (10 miles), north of Pelican Creek, at end of Pelican Cone Trail (Old Fire Obs Point)
Pelican Springs Cabin
(26)  [Map]
Built in 1917.  East, center part of park, due east of LeHardy Rapids, northeast of Pelican Valley along Mist Creek Trail.
Slough Creek Cabin
(27) [Map]
Built in 1916.  Northeast portion of park, 2 miles northeast of Slough Creek Campground, on the Slough Creek Trail.  [Bunkhouse]
South Riverside Cabin
(28)  [Map]
Built in 1920.  Located 2 miles due south of West Entrance Station.
Sportsman Lake Cabin(29)  [Map]Original was built in 1916.  Northwest corner of park, in MT, west of Electric Peak.  Existing cabin was built in 1989 – the original was destroyed by the 1988 fires.
Thorofare Cabin
(30)  [Map]
Built in 1915.  Very southeast corner of Park (Ranger Station), 32 miles from the nearest road.
Three Rivers Cabin
(31) [Map]
Built in 1925.  Southwest portion of park, near Three Rivers Junction, Southwest of Douglas Knob.  This cabin was originally located @ Crystal Spring, but was relocated to its current location in 1993.
Trail Creek Cabin
(32)  [Map]
Built in 1933.  At south end of Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake.
Union Falls Cabin
(33) [Map]
Southwest portion of park, southwest of Union Falls (Mountain Ash Creek).  Unknown construction date.
Upper Blacktail Cabin
(34)  [Map]
Built in 1931.  Located off service road at Blacktail Plateau, on south side of Grand Loop Road.
Upper Cache Creek Cabin
(35)  [Map]
Built in 1922.  Northeast corner of park, south of Northeast Entrance Station on Cache Creek Trail north of junction with Thunderer Cutoff Trail.
Upper Miller Creek Cabin (36)  [Map]Built in 1934.  East, center part of park, north of Saddle Mountain, west of Absaroka Mountains, on Miller Creek
Winter Creek Cabin
(37) [Map]
Built in 1963.  Northwestt portion of park, east of Mt Holmes, southeast of Dome Mountain, near junction of Winter Creek & Trilobite Trails