We are in dire need of your support, every dollar helps

Patterson Guard Station

Modoc National Forest



Patterson Guard Station is a cabin located 7,080 feet above sea level on the edge of a meadow surrounded by Aspen, Fir and Pine trees. It offers hikers and horseback riders the perfect opportunity to explore the South Warner Wilderness and is also great for disconnecting and relaxing. The cabin has one bunk bed and two chairs that can convert to single beds, as well as a wood-burning stove and kitchen. Non-potable water may be available but visitors should bring all the water needed for drinking and washing. Guests must also bring battery powered lanterns, bedding, bug spray, and a first aid kit.


*Altitude is 7,080 feet above sea level* 

Set on the edge of a meadow surrounded by Aspen, Fir and Pine trees, Patterson Guard Station has stood since 1921. It served the Modoc National Forest as a fully staffed fire office and guard station until 1981.  

Just a few footsteps from the Summit Trail and one-quarter mile from the wilderness boundary, Patterson Guard Station can be your basecamp for trips into the South Warner Wilderness or the perfect place to disconnect and relax. The cabin only has one set of bunkbeds (two mattresses). There is a large turn-around parking area directly adjacent to the cabin which can accommodate camper trailers, smaller RVs and gooseneck horse trailers. No hook-ups. If your party exceeds 8 persons, the adjacent Patterson Campground offers 6 developed campsites for $15/night. 

Click here to view the full reservation calander and additional details not included on this page.


Hiking & Horseback Riding

The nearby trails within the South Warner Wilderness offer wild landscapes and solitude for hikers and horseback riders. The Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits the use of motorized and/or mechanized equipment within the Wilderness area (limited exceptions are provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act). South Warner WIlderness maps are advised and always available at the Modoc National Forest Supervisor's Office in Alturas, Calif. Maps may also be available at the Likely General Store in Likely, Calif. 

Off-Highway Vehicles

Many of the roads near Patterson Guard Station, outside of the wilderness area, are open to Off-Highway Vehicles. Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available online and at the Modoc National Forest Supervisor's Office in Alturas, Calif. 


Blue Lake, 9 miles west, features a boat ramp and dock for motorized and non-motorized watercraft. Help keep this lake clean by following the California Invasive Species Prevention Program Please respect the 10 mph speed limit on the lake. If speed-boating is your thing, consider launching your boat at West Valley Reservoir instead.  


Patterson Guard Station was restored in 2022 thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The guard station is currently equiped with one bunk bed (two matresses). There will also be two chairs that each convert to a single bed. Pots and pans will be provided. Pets are allowed. The guard station features a new refrigerator and oven/range fueled by propane (provided). New floors and a wood-burning stove (firewood provided) make this facility almost as cozy as your own home. Potable water is not available on-site. Non-potable water may be available but visitors should bring all the water needed for drinking and washing. An outhouse stands roughly 100 feet from the front door, across the driveway. Entering this facility requires walking up at least two stairs to enter the back door, three stairs up to the front porch and door. As your reservation approaches, you will be instructed on how to obtain codes/keys to the entry gate and guard station doors.



Check-in is 2pm and check-out is 11am. Maximum occupancy is listed at eight (8) but when it comes to sleeping arrangments, the guard station will only accomdate four (4) persons. 

Natural Features

The Warner Mountains form a prominent Northwestern boundary of the basin and range geologic province that envelops the entire state of Nevada. This range was once a sedimentary basin between volcanoes of the ancestral Cascade Range until the Warners went through their own phases of active volcanism between ~28 million years ago until as recently as 2 to 3 million years ago. Dramatic uplift on the eastern side of this range provides breathtaking views, best seen from Surprise Valley, east of the Warners. 

South-facing slopes in the Warner Mountains are often dry and host Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine, Juniper trees and Sagebrush. North facing slopes are wetter and host Fir trees. Aspen trees are found along streams and boggy areas beside Corn Lillies that can grow up to 5 feet tall before drying up by mid-summer.  


This location is unstaffed. To speak with our main office for general information, please call: (530) 233-5811.

Nearby Attractions

  • Blue Lake, 9 miles West, offers a boat ramp and dock with a kayak launcher, fishing platform, day use area with grills and picnic tables and a developed campground with 40+ developed campsites at $15/night.
  • Cedarville, California, is a historic western town offering restuarants, a grocery store, and shopping oppourtunities. 31 miles North along County Road 1. 
Show More ▾


Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Modoc National Forest.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
Aspen Grove (Ca)
Lassen National Forest
53.9mi 69%
West Eagle
Lassen National Forest
54.5mi 68%
Lassen National Forest
54.6mi 65%
Goose Lake State Recreation Area
Goose Lake State Recreation Area
Goose Lake State Recreation Area
Lassen National Forest
55.3mi 68%
Made with ❤️ in Mammoth Lakes
This site is not endorsed by recreation.gov. A Vay project.
App Privacy Terms Support