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Status: Open through Wed Dec 31 2014   Season Dates


The Vigilante Cabin, also known as the Vigilante Middle House, offers a comfortable place to stay deep in the mountains of southwestern Montana. The cabin used to be a guard station and boasts two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and electricity. It is close to many outdoor recreation opportunities, including fishing, hiking and hunting, as well as off-road vehicle trails and gold panning.

The cabin and two adjacent buildings were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1920s. The white clapboard middle house is available for rent, while the two other houses on the property are still used by Forest Service personnel and volunteers throughout the year.

The cabin is accessible throughout most of the year by vehicle; however, a portion of the road may be difficult to navigate when wet or snow-covered. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring some of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

Located along the Ruby River, the facility stands at an elevation of about 6,100 feet between the Snowcrest and Gravelly mountain ranges. It sits in a mostly open and grassy area with just a few trees around it, offering views of the nearby peaks.

A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area, including elk, mule deer, black and grizzly bears, mountain grouse, and other species (learn more about bear safety).


Guests can enjoy fishing the Ruby River for mountain whitefish and rainbow trout. Gold panning is also possible in a section of the river near the cabin.

Big game hunting is possible in designated areas. Appropriate licenses are required.

A variety of hiking trails and points of exploration exist around the cabin. Off-road vehicle trails are also available in the area. During winter months, guests enjoy snowmobiling and snowshoeing on the many nearby trails.


The large, two-bedroom cabin has a bunkbed and single bed with mattresses in each bedroom to sleep up to six people. It has electric lights and a water heater. The kitchen is equipped with a range, refrigerator, table and chairs, cookware and utensils. A wood stove heats the cabin, and firewood is provided.

The living room is fully furnished, and there is a functioning bathroom during the summer months, with running water, a sink, shower and a flush toilet. The bathroom is sealed off when the water system at the cabin is winterized. A concrete outhouse with vault toilet is available east of the house. Picnic tables, a grill and a group fire ring are located nearby.

Guests need to bring their own water from October to May. Other items to bring include bedding, pillows, towels, soap, matches, flashlight and garbage bags, among other necessities. Guests are asked to replenish the supply of split wood and kindling, pack out all food and garbage, and clean the cabin prior to leaving.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bed(s) With Mattress
  • Birding
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Bunkbed(s) With Mattresses
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Campfire Circles
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Drinking Water (Peak Season)
  • Electricity
  • Firewood
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Hot Water
  • Hunting
  • Kitchen
  • Lights
  • Off-Road Vehicle Trails
  • Picnic Area
  • Refrigerator
  • River Access
  • Showers
  • Snowmobile Trails
  • Snowshoeing
  • Stove
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Within 10 Miles
  • Fishing
  • Gold Panning
Know Before You Go
  • This facility is located in a remote and wild area; before making a reservation, become aware of bear, water and weather safety
  • The cabin remains locked; to obtain a key code, call the Madison Ranger District office during office hours
  • Guests must bring their own water from October through May
  • Cell phone coverage is minimal to none
  • A mandatory food storage order is in effect annually between March 1 and December 1 to ensure all food is properly stored and unavailable to wildlife; please contact the Madison Ranger District for more details
  • Private horses are not allowed at the site
  • Please do not chop wood on the porch
  • Guests should be aware that there is a risk of exposure to hantavirus when visiting remote cabins; click here to learn more
  • Rodent poison may be used in cabin; take appropriate precautions to prevent ingestion by children or pets
  • Learn more about the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
45.0175, -111.96278
45°1'3"N, 111°57'46"W

From Sheridan, travel south on Highway 287 for about 10 miles to Alder. Turn south on Ruby River Road and continue about 22 miles to Vigilante Station. The last 20 miles are on a gravel road, which can be slippery when wet or snow-covered. The gate lock code is the same as the cabin. Maps of the area may be purchased by calling the Madison Ranger District.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

ENNIS MT 59729

Phone Number:

Information: (406)682-4253