Back in 2014, we caught up with Oregon City-based amateur photographer Terry Musgrove and his furry friend Yogi about halfway through their decade-long quest to visit every wilderness A-frame in the Pacific Northwest. As of 2017, Musgrove (and new friend Woody) were up to 71 cabin stays—mostly retired Forest Service guard stations, and all on government property—each chronicled in stunning, fish-eye lens photos on Musgrove's Flickr account.
This past September, Musgrove discovered a new favorite: the brand-new, fully equipped, pet-friendly Fremont Point cabin in south-central Oregon's Lake County. The six-hour trek put Musgrove and Woody at the scrubby edge of the Fremont National Forest, overlooking Summer Lake from a soaring 3,000-foot escarpment.
"It's one of the newest Forest Service rentals in Oregon," Musgrove says. He was impressed—by the location's beauty, and by its proximity to attractions including Four Craters Lava Bed, Christmas Valley's sand dunes, the National Recreation Trail, and even square meals at "nearby" Cowboy Dinner Tree and the Lodge at Summer Lake.
The cabin site once housed Fremont Point’s fire lookout tower. The cabin was destroyed in a 2002 forest blaze; in 2015, volunteers and members of the Silver Lake ranger district decided to rebuild the secluded cabin and make it available to outdoor adventure seekers.
For Musgrove, a new cabin is reason enough to celebrate; his quest to chronicle these cabins and lookouts stems in part from a belief that some won’t exist in a decade. Another reason for the mission? It's fun.
“Here was an opportunity to travel around the Northwest knowing that there would always be a reasonably safe and affordable place to stay at the end of the trip,” he explains. “It also seemed like a step up from car camping and backpacking for a person over 50 years old. Now I'm over 60 and the excitement of stepping through strange doorways hasn't faded at all.”
Reservations are available for six months out from the booking date (meaning July 2018 reservations will become available starting in January). The cabin is available nearly year-round, and generally accessible by Forest Service roads from the town of Paisley. (Note: in the unforgiving months of winter, count on skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling in 10 miles from the nearest snow park.) Contact the Silver Lake Ranger Station with questions.