Backcountry Cabin Etiquette

General guidelines for backcountry cabin use and etiquette

  • Due to the rustic nature of backcountry cabins, hazardous conditions can exist. Use them at your own risk.
  • Cabins are available on a first-come basis with no reservation system. Visitors are encouraged to stay for only a night or two, but a maximum stay of 14 days is allowed.
  • If someone is already using the cabin, please camp somewhere else. Don’t setup camp right next to an occupied cabin. If you would like to look around an occupied cabin, be polite and ask permission first.
  • Any maintenance done on the cabin is only allowed with the written approval of the managing land agency. Adding or modifying structures can negatively affect its historical value.
  • Please use extreme caution with fires. Fires are restricted to existing wood-burning stoves or fireplaces which function safely. Bring your own firewood. Do not gather wood or brush from the surrounding area.
  • The threat of Hantavirus (a sometimes fatal respiratory disease caused by a virus shed by rodents) exists in all backcountry cabins. Do not sweep rodent droppings. Use a solution of bleach and water to either spray them or mop the floor.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Leave the cabin cleaner than you found it. There is no trash service.
  • When you leave, please close all windows and doors.
  • If the cabin has a flag, raise it while you are staying there for others to know it is occupied. Take it down when you leave.
  • Purify all water before drinking.
  • Beware of abandoned mine openings.
  • Please sign in the cabin logbook and comment on your stay.

Please do not disturb or remove any artifacts. Historical features are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act (1966) and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (1979). Help protect historic and cultural resources by leaving them in place for others to enjoy.

Volunteers, in cooperation with land management officials, give their time and materials to maintain many cabins. Please do your part to help keep them clean. These places are valuable resources. New cabins aren’t being built. Once these are gone, they are gone.

Protect and enjoy them!