The Horse Heaven Cabin is a historic cabin that sits between two scenic wilderness areas in northeastern Idaho. It provides access to a variety of trails and recreational opportunities unique to the area. The cabin is equipped to handle equestrian campers, as well as adventurers of all types.
Visitors to the area enjoy big and small game hunting, as well as for birds and waterfowl. Proper licenses are required to hunt within the Idaho and neighboring Montana.
There are a variety of hiking and horseback riding trails in the area. The trails are also popular for cross country skiing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. Bicycles and motorized travel are not allowed within wilderness boundaries.
The one-room, 16-by-18 cabin is equipped with two built-in bunk beds that can accommodate up to four people. It has a table and chairs, a propane cook stove, propane lantern and a wood stove for heat.
Basic cooking and eating utensils are provided, as well as some cooking pots. Firewood for the stove is also available outside the cabin. A small stream may provide water during the summer, but it should be boiled or treated before it is used for drinking or cooking purposes. A vault toilet is provided in an outhouse behind the cabin.
Guests will need to bring their own sleeping pads and bedding, as well as propane fuel for cooking and lighting. Guests will also need to bring water for drinking, cooking and cleaning during the fall and winter months. Food, matches, flashlights, toilet paper and garbage bags are not provided. Guests must carry out all trash and clean the cabin prior to their departure.
The cabin is accessible most of the year by four-wheel drive and high-clearance vehicles. Winter access, however, is restricted to snowmobiles or cross country skiing up to 57 miles. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.
The cabin was built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for use as a fireman's cabin. It is situated at an elevation of 7,100 feet on a road that divides the 1.2 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the 2.3 million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness areas.
While the cabin is on the edge of an open meadow, most of the area is covered by coniferous forests. Because of its size, the wilderness provides a secluded habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Large populations of mountain lions and grey wolves live in the area, as well as lynx, coyote, fox, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, deer and black bears.
The cabin lies near the prehistoric southern Nez Perce Trail, which was used by Native American tribes as a seasonal migration and subsistence route between eastern Oregon and Idaho and the buffalo country in eastern Montana.
Today, the dramatic winding road serves as a boundary between the heart of thousands of square miles of two designated wilderness. The area is some of the wildest land in the country and is well worth the time to explore.
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