The Carnero Guard Station, first proposed in 1907 by the Cochetopa National Forest, was originally named the John Smith Ranger Station after a homesteader who built a cabin near the site, but never filed on the land. The name was changed to the Carnero Guard Station by 1916. Construction began on April 16, 1908 by W.L. Ward, the contractor. At that time Tebo Gallegos was the Carnero District Ranger. The cabin is a good base camp for hunting. Fishing is available in several creeks within an easy drive (please check Colorado Division of Wildlife for fishing seasons and rules). The trailhead for the La Garita Wilderness (20 + miles west) can be reached via 4 x 4 and Forest Service roads. There is an ATV trail about 10 miles southwest of the cabin that travels to within 2 miles of the La Garita Wilderness. Reminder, no motorized vehicles allowed in any wilderness area. Wildlife in the area includes. deer, elk and coyote. Moose have been spotted in the Moon Pass area, about 5 miles west. The cabin is surrounded by a buck & pole fence. Horses (maximum 8 head) may be allowed with permission from District Ranger on a case by case basis. Horse fee is $5.00 per head per night. Visitors to the National Forest are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of the forest. Travel maps for the Rio Grande National Forest can be obtained by calling the Forest Service Office in Saguache (719)655-2547 or the Forest Supervisor's Office in Monte Vista (719)852-5941.
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Driving Directions:
Carnero Guard Station may be reached by traveling south on Highway 285 approximately 15 miles south of Saguache to the La Garita turnoff (Road G). In La Garita proceed west on County Road 41G approximately 17 miles and look for the cabin on the right. NOTE: Forest Road 41G leading to the cabin is unimproved but may be traveled by passenger car, weather permitting. The cabin may also be accessed from Highway 114 west of Saguache, also on Forest Road 41G. Winter access maybe limited to snowshoes, skis or snowmobile. During the spring snow melt, March thru mid May, hiking (6 + miles) may be your only access to the cabin, seasonal road closures may also be in effect, call Saguache Ranger District (719 655-2547) for current conditions.