SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST
Operated by: JERSEY JIM FOUNDATION
You’re in for a treat when you rent Aspen Guard Station’s beautiful cabin. Built between 1938-1940, this cabin offers a visit to the past while being near enough to civilization to have a foot in both worlds. This old cabin housed the Forest Service Rangers who patrolled the forests, often on horseback, checking timber and livestock permits, helping neighboring cabin dwellers and the public, much like today.
The cabin has a full kitchen with hot running water, a full-sized stove with oven, refrigerator, and table with benches looking out the window at the beautiful aspen trees it is named for. All the appliances and lights are propane. The cupboards are stocked with dinnerware, glasses/cups, bowls, pots/pans, muffin tins, baking pans, even a stone pizza baking dish. There is a percolating stove top coffee pot for indoors and one for outdoors when a fire is permitted. You will need to bring enough water for drinking and cooking as the cabin water is not potable. The small heater in the kitchen warms the room for those cool spring and fall mornings.
There is a full set of silverware, a full range of cooking utensils, measuring spoons…nearly everything a modern kitchen would include. Salt/Pepper and a small can of shortening are provided as that is what most people tend to forget. Metal utensils and a cast iron skillet are available for indoor/outdoor cooking also. Paper towels, hand soap, trash bags, Lysol, bleach (wipes), misc. cleaning supplies, even disposable gloves are currently stocked. Matches and fire starters (when available) are provided also.
Next to the kitchen area is a bedroom with a full bed, nightstand and closet. In the middle of the cabin is a full-service bathroom; a large room with a flushing toilet and hot shower. Toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and tissues are provided. Cleaning supplies are also provided as you are required to clean before you leave. You will need to bring bath towels and personal toiletries such as soap, shampoo, etc.
The cabin has been used for years by Artist(s) in Residence program, sponsored by the Forest Service. Artists journals revealed they called the room on the other side of the bathroom the “Studio”. The large antique desk and chair would have been used by the Ranger to log his reports and daily activities. The “chofa” (chaise lounge/sofa) converts to a full bed also. A card table and 4 chairs have been provided for games and/or puzzles, or extra seating for meals.
The “Bunk” room is just that, a bedroom with a full bed and two extra-long bunk beds. An antique cupboard provides extra storage.
Keeping the tradition and history of your visit, we are using the propane lights so you can get the full, historic experience of living in a cabin without modern amenities. We did ‘fudge’ a little with the LED lantern for the kitchen so you could see what you’re cooking! And there is cell service, unheard of even ten years ago!
The cabin was once wired for electricity which was provided by a generator. That proved to be inefficient and costly. Solar panels allow the cabin to have running water and a flush toilet by powering the pump. Propane is used for the lights, appliances, heater and furnace, just as it was during an earlier period. A woodstove was historically used to warm the cabin, but it had to be removed.
Outside is a firepit for a campfire and a grate for outdoor cooking. A second BBQ grate is hanging on the fully stocked woodshed for additional cooking options. We do not supply briquettes, only aspen!