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Our family of five stayed two nights in Aspen Cabin, a Forest Service fire guard station built in the 1930s. It’s now a rentable cabin via Recreation.gov. We rented it for its proximity to Oregon Sunstones, which was the focus of our adventure.
When we arrived, the corral around the cabin was full of cows. A loud “hi-ya!” chased them out and we discovered quickly that both gates were broken. If you’re planning to take horses, check to make sure the gates have been repaired before you go.
We’d never stayed in a Forest Service cabin before, so we didn’t have any expectations. We found the cabin to be very rustic (ie dirty. Really dirty.) I made good use of the provided broom, though, and soon had it in reasonable order.
|Aspen Cabin from the back side, up the hill a bit|
Pack in, Pack out
Aspen Cabin has no amenties, including water, so pack well and be prepared. There is a campground with a water pump just a mile or so down the road, and it was easy to fill up daily there. There’s an outhouse out back, but the Forest Service doesn’t provide toilet paper, so take your own! There’s also no trash service, so take garbage bags and be prepared to pack it back to Lakeview. We ended up throwing ours away in a roadside rest stop outside Lakeview.
Things to Do Nearby
The lookout is very small, with almost no privacy from visitors, so we were glad we’d stayed at Aspen Cabin instead. However, if you’re one or two people and want a lookout, Drake Peak has limitless views in every direction.
And of course, one of the most popular nearby attractions is collecting Oregon sunstones. That’s a post of its own, so stay tuned!
Cost per night: $40 via recreation.gov
Amenities: pit toilet, fire ring, picnic table, fire wood, stove, cots
Our kids ages at the time of visit: 8, 3, and 4 months