Forest Service Cabins for Rent

Eldorado National Forest





Forest Service Rental Cabins

The Forest Service has 5 cabins for rent. Several are available year-round, but in the winter may require a cross country ski trek to access. During the summer all are accessible by vehicle. Reservations can be made from 4 to 180 days in advance of your first night's stay through Recreation.gov. Besides making reservations, renters must check in with the appropriate Forest Service office to obtain a permit, keys, and up to date information on conditions.

The larger cabins can sleep up to 20 people. Most cabins have piped water and electricity, at least in the summer, but some are rather primitive with outhouses and no water. None allow smoking or pets inside the buildings.

Harvey West Cabin

Located on the Silver Fork of the South Fork of the American River, the Harvey West Cabin can accommodate up to 20 people. The cabin is open only in the summer. Reservations may be made 180 days in advance of your first night at the cabin. The cabin is not available on Monday nights due to maintenance and cleaning. Pets are not allowed inside.

Photo of Harvey West Cabin, Eldorado National Forest, CA

The Harvey West Cabin was built in the early 1930s by the Sacramento Box and Lumber Company as an office and recreational facility. Later it was purchased by Harvey West, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist, and used as a summer retreat for his family.

Cabin Amenities

  • Propane lights, heat and appliances
  • Hot and cold water
  • Two levels, great room, dining room, kitchen, wood fireplace
  • Kitchen area with propane stove and oven, propane refrigerator, basic pots and pans and utensils
  • Two downstairs bedrooms and two large lofts - beds for about 12
  • 1½ bathrooms
  • Bring your own bedding

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov - Harvey West Cabin
Renters must sign and pick up your special-use permit in person from the Placerville Ranger District 4260 Eight Mile Road, Camino, CA (530) 644-2324
Fees: $105 per night
Forest Service Website: Harvey West Cabin

map of Harvey West cabin on the Silver Fork, El Dorado National Forest, CA

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Loon Lake Chalet

Located on the shore of Loon Lake, the Loon Lake Chalet can accommodate up to 20 people. The chalet is open year-round. Reservations may be made from 4 to 180 days in advance of your first night at the cabin. Pets are not allowed.

Photo of Loon Lake Chalet, Eldorado National Forest, CA

The chalet was built by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in 1989 and is owned and operated by the U. S. Forest Service. The first floor is used by the Ski Patrol. The second floor is open for day use as a warming hut on winter weekends. Renters have the use of the loft and the second floor, but during the day (9 AM to 3 PM) on winter weekends the second floor is open to the public, and renters must move their belongings into the loft during those hours.

Cabin Amenities

  • Electricity and heat, garbage service in the summer
  • Hot and cold water, no showers
  • Picnic tables, benches, futon couch, gas fireplace
  • Kitchen area with range top stove, microwave, small refrigerator
  • A dozen sleeping pads for use in the loft
  • Vault toilet restrooms accessed from the porch
  • Bring your own bedding, cooking utensils and pots and pans

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov - Loon Lake Chalet
Renters must contact Pacific Ranger District at 530-647-5415 to arrange for permit, access, check-in, and find out current conditions.
Fees: $100 per night
Forest Service website: Loon Lake Chalet

map of Loon Lake, El Dorado National Forest, CA

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Robbs Hut

Robbs Hut is a backcountry cabin on Robbs Peak near Union Valley Reservoir. The cabin is next to Robbs Peak Lookout, which is still used occasionally by the Forest Service during emergencies. The lookout is open to the public during the summer. The nearby cabin, which sleeps up to 6 people, is rented year-round.

During the summer most passenger vehicles can access the hut via a 3-mile dirt road off Ice House Road. In the winter renters must make the 3-mile trip on cross country skis or snowshoes. The elevation gain is about 1,000 feet. It is not recommended for beginning skiers. The cabin is at 6,686 feet and offers great views of the Crystal Range in the Desolation Wilderness.

Cabin Amenities

  • Gas fireplace for heat, propane lights
  • Kitchen range with oven, cleaning supplies
  • 3 sleeping platforms, mattresses, wool blankets
  • No water, electricity or garbage service
  • Outside BBQ and picnic table, vault toilet building

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov - Robbs Hut
Renters must contact Pacific Ranger District in Pollock Pines at to arrange for permit, access, check-in, and find out current conditions. You will be given the combination to the facility at that time. (530) 647-5415
Fees: $65 per night
Forest Service Website: Robbs Hut

map of Robbs Hut, Van Vleck Bunkhouse, El Dorado National Forest, CA

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Sly Guard Cabin

The Sly Guard Cabin is located on Sly Park Road near Jenkinson Lake. The 600-square foot, 1-bedroom cabin has room for 4 to sleep indoors, but can accommodate up to 12 people by sleeping some outside in tents or an RV. The cabin is available from June to mid-October. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance of your first night there. The cabin is closed on Mondays for cleaning and maintenance. Pets are not allowed inside.

Photo of Sly Guard Cabin, Eldorado National Forest, CA

The cabin was constructed in the early 1940s by the Forest Service as living quarters for the Sly Park Rangers or guards. Sly Park Environmental Education School is located across the street. Guided daily nature walks are conducted on the trail adjacent to the cabin.

Cabin Amenities

  • Electricity, wood stove, propane wall heater
  • Hot and cold water, bathroom with flush toilet and shower/tub combo
  • Kitchen with microwave, electric stove and refrigerator, and basic pots, pans and utensils
  • Phone, TV, DVD player
  • Horseshoe pit, picnic table, fire ring

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov - Sly Guard Cabin
Renters must sign and pick up your special-use permit in person from the Placerville Ranger District in Camino (530) 644-2324
Fees: $65 per night
Forest Service Website: Sly Guard Cabin

map of Sly Guard Cabin, El Dorado National Forest, CA

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Van Vleck Bunkhouse

The bunkhouse sits at the edge of a 40-acre meadow with views of Tells Peak and the Crystal Range. It sleeps up to 6 people and is open year-round. The cabin is 23 miles north of Highway 50 on Ice House Road and then an additional 5 miles on Tells Creek/Cheese Camp Road. It is at an elevation of 6, 549 feet. Pets are not allowed inside the building.

During the winter access is limited to snowshoes or cross country skies via a 5.5 mile, ungroomed trail from the Van Vleck Trailhead near Loon Lake. It is not recommended for beginning skiers or snowshoers, and winter travelers are advised to always carry proper equipment to allow them to camp overnight in the snow if required.

The bunkhouse was constructed in 1957 as part of the Van Vleck Ranch, a cattle ranch from the 1860s through the 1960s. The bunkhouse was acquired by the Forest Service in 1997 and renovated for public use.

Cabin Amenities

  • Propane lights and gas log stove
  • Hot and cold water, bathroom with flush toilet and shower (during the winter water is available only for the flush toilet and bathroom sink - no hot water)
  • Sleeper sofa, bunk bed, bedroom with queen bed
  • No electricity
  • Kitchen with propane stove and oven, basic pots, pans and utensils

Reservations: (877) 444-6777 or Recreation.gov - Van Vleck Bunkhouse
Renters must contact Pacific Ranger District in Pollock Pines at 530-647-5415 to arrange for permit, access, check-in, and find out current conditions.
Fees: $75 per night
Forest Service Website: Van Vleck Bunkhouse

map of Van Vleck Bunkhouse, El Dorado National Forest, CA

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