Mount Shasta dominates the landscape in Northern California, but this area is home to many hidden gems. Built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for use as a wildfire lookout, the Post Creek Guard Station is now a quiet getaway for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With no cell service, this little cabin in the woods is the perfect place to quarantine and relax.
What is a guard station?
Prior to World War II, Forest Service employees had to travel from local ranger stations to remote work sites. Back then, there weren’t as many Forest Service roads, making travel much more difficult. To make this easier, guard stations were built on National Forest land across the United States to house work crews and fire patrols.
After World War II, Forest Service roads greatly improved, reducing the need for guard stations. Many fell into disarray or were demolished. Some historic structures, like the Post Creek Guard Station, were preserved. Renting out the Post Creek Guard Station finances the preservation efforts.
Getting to the Post Creek Guard Station
After booking this spot, you’ll receive an email about a week before your visit. This email will have two sets of instructions to get to the guard station: an approach via Forest Road 30 (29N30), AKA Wild Mad Road, and an approach via Forest Road 45 (29N45), also known as Tedoc Road.
Coming in via Wild Mad Road will keep you on paved roads for the majority of the drive. However, this is a longer drive. Coming in from Tedoc Road is shorter, but is completely on dirt roads. That being said, you do not need an AWD or high-clearance vehicle to approach from Tedoc Road, although it never hurts. There are only a few things on the way in from Tedoc to keep eye out for. Other than that, careful driving will get you to the guard station with nary a bump or scrape on the car.
Do not rely on GPS directions to get you to Post Creek. Not all the Forest Service roads (usually the lesser traveled ones) can be driven in a regular car, so be careful if you get lost! If you can load up offline maps onto your phone, or if your car has a GPS system, it will be helpful for reference.
You’ll need to call the Hayfork Ranger Station at (530) 628-5227 for the combo to Post Creek Guard Station prior to your visit. Remember, there’s no cell service here or on most of the Forest Service roads!
What to Bring to the Post Creek Guard Station
The Post Creek Guard Station is a pretty sweet little spot, and almost as glamorous as Robbs Mountain Hut. This two-room cabin sleeps up to six people and is stocked with almost everything you might need for a cabin escape in the mountains.
The “bedroom” contains a queen bed and a twin bed. The spacious living room has room for sleeping pads on the ground. Inside the living room are two chairs for lounging, and a dining table. The kitchen is fully stocked with a Coleman stove, pots, and pans. A bathroom is currently under construction, so a Port-a-Potty is available outside of the cabin.
Outside the cabin is a picnic table and a fire ring. Check fire restrictions before you go since high season for Post Creek Guard Station is in the summer. Currently, most of California is under high fire danger, therefore campfires are not permitted in many National Forests.
Here’s what you’ll need to bring:
- California Campfire permit, if you want to use a stove
- stove, just in case the guard station does not have one
- sleeping bag and pillows – make sure they are warm, as there is no heat in the Post Creek Guard Station
- food – your closest resupply is in Red Bluff, at least an hour and a half away
- water, there is no water available
- an eye mask – with panoramic windows in the bedroom, it gets bright in there with sunrise and lightning shows
- toilet paper – you can never have too much
- swimsuit – there’s a swimming hole
- bug spray
What to Do at the Post Creek Guard Station
- Hike North Yolla Bolly
- Check out the Pattymocus Lookout! If you come in via Tedoc Road, you’ll pass the turnoff for the Pattymocus Lookout. This lookout is a short uphill hike from the parking area. If you need cell service, it’s available at the top of the tower for Verizon. Pattymocus is not one you can rent or go inside, unfortunately, but still a neat site to check out.
- Hike Black Rock Mountain
- Swim at the Post Creek swimming hole. Just 3/4 down the road is a little swimming hole, fed by a drainage.
- Hike Ides Cove Loop
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Post Creek Guard Station is in the spring or the fall. You can also cross your fingers for a thunderstorm!
The little cabin gets quite toasty inside in the sun. The only window with a screen on it is the front door, which doesn’t provide much air flow. The majority of the windows open, but there are no screens on them. I’d rather suffer in the heat than be eaten alive by mosquitoes.
We visited at the end of May of 2020. On our first day, the guard station was absolutely unbearable when the sun was out. It was so hot inside. It cooled off considerably once the sun dipped behind the mountains. The rest of our visit had pouring rain, thunder, and lightning, which was incredibly magical. Thunderous booms shook the whole cabin, and if the sound didn’t wake us up, the bright flashes of lightning in the sky sure did.
Booking the Post Creek Guard Station
The Post Creek Guard Station is reservable on Recreation.gov. Peak season is late May through early November, before the snow arrives. The cost is $75 per night.
Looking for similar places to stay? Try Robbs Mountain Hut near Pollock Pines. Visit the Girard Ridge Fire Lookout by Castle Crags. Calpine Fire Lookout is open year round for visitors.
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